Bortezomib, a biologic drug used to treat bone marrow cancer may help in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Greek researchers conducted the study on animal models to test the effectiveness of the disease. The drug reduced severity of the disease, encouraged bone healing and also decreased the severity of the inflammation. The findings are published in the November issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

An autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis is known to be systemic and chronic. Joint destruction and inflammation are common characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis. It has been found that over 50 percent of people undergoing treatment with TNF inhibitor fail to meet the improvement criteria set by ACR 50. The researchers believe that Bortezomib may have far better results than the treatment options which are available today.

"The definitive role of biologic agents in treating this difficult-to-cure population has yet to be defined in prospective trials comparing the available therapeutic options," explained the study leader, Evangelia Yannaki, M.D., of George Papanicolaou Hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece. "Given the lack of options for poor responders and the increased risk of infections and malignancies with available biologic agents for RA, there is a great need for novel therapies that are safe and effective."

Our research showed that bortezomib is a useful treatment in targeting critical cell populations involved in the development of inflammation and autoimmunity in RA," concluded Dr. Yannaki. "We believe that bortezomib should be further explored in a clinical setting, as it represents an attractive intervention for inflammatory conditions and a highly promising agent in the treatment of RA."

Bortezomib as a drug targets several pathways. This was the main reason behind taking research exploring the possibility of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Bortezomib inhibits NF-KB which regulates the vital proinflammatory mediators. The researchers believe that bortezomib may help in improving the autoimmune conditions which are typified by chronic inflammation.