Towards a cure for RA, restoring lost tolerance for self proteins

Arthuritis Member Posts: 445
edited 7. Feb 2023, 09:15 in Living with arthritis

Research into restoring immune balance towards the body’s own proteins, (antigen specific tolerance induction in dendritic cells) has been the holy grail of RA, instead of current drug dependant approach of a sledgehammer to your immune system making RA sufferers vulnerable to infection & cancer among other diseases.

A research group at Queensland University completed a successful Phase 1 trial at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. The concept had already been proven using ex-vivo re-education of immune cells, however this process is too expensive to scale, and the trial was about developing a scalable delivery method.

John Isaacs, MD, PhD, Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne is also developing a therapy to switch off RA, however his research in my view, is far behind the Aussie team.

Both groups rely on research grants, from govts, charities & pharma, and from a purely finance perspective vaccines & cures are not as profitable as drugs that require long term subscription. Sad & unfortunate, but its the reality as the cost of product development from proof of concept to delivery is huge. I suspect a type 1 diabetes vaccine & cure will be available before RA as its a much bigger market, where the product dev cost and modest margins can be justified by the scale of the addressable market, which dwarfs RA, which is still falsely perceived as afflicting mostly older women.

I looked at VA’s own 2022 research strategy & current research, and while there are projects looking at causes, better use of existing immune suppression but none as advanced as towards a cure such as Prof Thomas’ or Dr Isaacs.

Maybe I have missed something, Thoughts anyone?


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,483

    Gosh yes diabetes is a much bigger 'problem' for society than RA I have to agree, people do still think of Arthritis as an older person's (and yes more female) condition.

    My youngest daughter had leukaemia at 16 (just!) and I always said that one day they will look back at chemotherapy and other treatments currently used and think it was barbaric. The same will no doubt be true of Rheumatology treatments.

    Thanks for posting this and I will try to be positive and take from this that there is hope for the future for people with RA and hopefully other autoimmune diseases.

    take care

  • pinklady79

    It is said that the Chemotherapy will kill you in the end!!😎