Cancer patients’ grey hair unexpectedly darkens in drug study

Fourteen patients in the study found that their grey hair darkened after taking the new drugs. Photograph: Barry Diomede/Alamy

A group of cancer patients’ grey hair has unexpectedly darkened after they took new types of drugs, researchers have revealed.

Chemotherapy is known to make patients’ hair fall out, but the 14 people involved were all being treated with new immunotherapy drugs that work differently and have different side effects from chemotherapy. A Spanish study suggests those may include restoring hair pigment, at least in patients with lung cancer.

Noelia Rivera, a dermatologist at Autonomous University of Barcelona, said they thought it could be an isolated case when it happened with the first patient. But the research team found the same thing when they asked other patients for photographs of themselves from before treatment.

The 14 people were among 52 patients with lung cancer being followed to see whether they developed bad side effects from the drugs — Keytruda, Opdivo and Tecentriq.

While most patients did not have a hair colour change, the 14 cases suggest it is not an isolated finding. In 13 patients, hair turned darkish brown or black; in one patient, it turned black in patches.

The same drugs have been linked previously with hair losing colour in patients with another cancer, melanoma.

All but one of the 14 patients in the Spanish study responded better to treatment than other patients, suggesting that hair darkening might be an indication that the drugs are working, the researchers said.

Rivera said they were continuing with the study to search for an explanation.

“It’s a fascinating report – one of those things that comes out of the blue,” said June Robinson, a Northwestern University research professor in dermatology. Robinson is also editor of the medical journal JAMA Dermatology, which published the study online this month.

She said the results deserved a deeper look but cautioned that it was too soon to suggest that they might lead to new treatments for unwanted grey hair.

Rivera noted that the drugs used in the study had serious side effects that made them unsafe for healthy people. But if it is confirmed that they do change hair colour, a different drug could be developed to treat grey hair, she said.

The pharmaceutical industry has previously capitalised on unexpected drug side effects. Examples include the male pattern baldness drug Propecia, the eyelash growing drug Latisse, and Botox anti-wrinkle injections. Active ingredients in these drugs were initially approved to treat enlarged prostates, eye pressure problems, and eye muscle spasms.

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[“Source-theguardian”]

Thousands of cancer patients dying in needless agony, new data reveals

Nursing holding hands with patient

Poorly coordinated care for those at home plays a large part CREDIT: PASCAL LACHENAUD/AFP

Thousands of cancer patients are dying in needless pain because of disjointed care for people who have returned home to be with loved ones, experts have warned.

New data reveals one in ten people who die of cancer have inadequate pain relief in their final 48 hours.

Charities have criticised the Office for National Statistics figures as “unacceptable”, and called on the Government to make good on its manifesto pledge to improve the standard of palliative care.

Macmillan Cancer Support, which conducted the analysis, said fears of uncontrollable pain were cancer patients’ top concern as they approached the end of life.

There’s no excuse for so many people with cancer still not getting the support they need at the end of their livesLynda Thomas, Macmillan Cancer Support

The organisation says 12,000 people who died from the disease in 2015 were not cared for properly in the final stages.

Many of these were outside hospital and reliant on community services such as visiting nurses to receive pain-relieving drugs.

The ONS statistics showed patients were four times more likely to die in pain at home than in hospital.

Macmillan said their research revealed that of the people who felt services had not worked properly when they had been treated at home, 72% also had poor pain relief.

Lynda Thomas, the charity’s chief executive, said: “There’s no excuse for so many people with cancer still not getting the support they need at the end of their lives.

“Absolutely no one should suffer unnecessary pain in their final days – with the right support this can be avoidable.

“We need better-coordinated, round-the-clock community care to help prevent this anguish.

The last year the Government committed to providing high quality end-of-life care to all patients regardless of location, a pledge that was repeated in the General Election manifesto.

“The Government must now make these promises a reality and end the variation in the quality of care people receive,” said Ms Thomas.

“Things cannot carry on the way they are.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Cancer survival is at a record high and we are fully committed to improving cancer outcomes for everyone, including palliative care, which we know is not always good enough.

“That’s exactly why our strategy for achieving world-class cancer outcomes includes a clear commitment to ensure earlier access to palliative support, which we expect NHS England to deliver for patients.”

[“Source-telegraph”]

N.C. cancer patients’ lives are at stake if Senate doesn’t act this week

Image result for N.C. cancer patients’ lives are at stake if Senate doesn’t act this week

Cancer patients increasingly take pills for their treatment rather than injections. But insurance rules make them far more expensive. Diedra Laird 2015 file photo

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most disrupting and frightening experiences a person can go through. I know because it happened to me just last year.

I live with two forms of blood cancer – myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis. I am also one of the fortunate ones. Ongoing treatment has so far been successful in keeping the cancer in check, but I live with the reality that my body will stop responding so positively and I will need a new treatment game plan.

And unless the North Carolina Senate acts this week on legislation bringing fairness to cancer health coverage, I will also continue living with the reality that I might not be able to afford the next treatment I need, even though I have health insurance.

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For many years, intravenous (IV) delivery was the primary method for administering the medicines used to treat cancer, but these days, many of the frontline cancer treatments are in pill form – used in conjunction with injectable or IV therapies, or even in place of them.

In fact, well over one-third of the anti-cancer medications approved by the Food & Drug Administration over the last two years are in pill form. For many cancers, the most effective and appropriate form of treatment comes in a pill, and for some cancers, such as chronic myeloid leukemia, an oral therapy is the only available treatment option.

Despite the need for oral anti-cancer medications, some health plans in North Carolina require patients to pay a large sum for them, often in the thousands of dollars, as opposed to the more reasonable fixed copay charge for IV treatments. The high costs make it difficult and often impossible for cancer patients to get the therapies their doctors prescribe. Without those prescribed therapies the prospects for continued life are extremely limited.

The sobering reality is that cancer is the leading cause of death in our state, with nearly 57,000 North Carolinians diagnosed each year. And yet, North Carolina is one of only seven states that hasn’t enacted legislation requiring health insurers to cover oral anti-cancer medications in the same way they cover injectable or IV chemotherapy.

The state House passed such legislation – known as the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act (HB 206) – this year and during the past two legislative sessions, yet it has never gotten a hearing in the Senate.

With the clock ticking down on this year’s session, time is of the essence for the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act and for the many North Carolinians that it would help. I hope senators will finally listen to our voices and allow the legislation to move forward.

Health insurance is a pool we all pay into so that we can afford care if or when we need it. No North Carolinian should have to forego the necessary treatment prescribed by their doctor because insurers do not cover oral anti-cancer medications in a fair way. It’s time to bring insurance policies in line with modern medicine – and in line with the rest of the country – and make cancer care fair in North Carolina.

[“Source-charlotteobserver”]

 

Drug information leaflets are ‘impenetrable’ and ‘unreadable’: Medicine pamphlets must be improved so patients can understand them, report claims

Drug information leaflets must be improved so they can be more easily read and understood, a report claims.

The Academy of Medical Sciences has called for the pamphlets that come in medicine boxes to be made clearer to ensure ‘comprehension and readability’ for patients.

Drug leaflets should also include information on the benefits of taking a medicine, and not just a ‘laundry list’ of the potential harms, it adds in its report.

Professor John Tooke, chair of the report, said: ‘The patient information leaflet does not provide a balanced appraisal of the benefits and harms of medicines and was described in our public dialogue as being “impenetrable” and “unreadable”.’

The Academy has released a series of potential questions that the public can ask their doctor to help them make an informed decision about whether to take certain medicines.

Drug information leaflets must be improved so they can be easily understood, experts claim

Drug information leaflets must be improved so they can be easily understood, experts claim

Unclear information leaflets 

Professor Tooke said: ‘The one piece of information that patients are guaranteed to receive – the patient information leaflet – does not provide a balance appraisal of the benefits and harms of medicines and was described in our public dialogue as being “impenetrable” and “unreadable”.

‘As far as patient information leaflets are concerned there is currently an obligation for industry to expose the risks, which is why they predominate this laundry list of side effects.

‘That’s a regulatory requirement and we’re saying that the regulation needs to serve the user and therefore what they need too is a balanced view of the potential harms and benefits.’

The Academy recommends patients ask their doctor questions, such as ‘How will this medicine make me feel? Will it affect my daily life?’, to aid their decision-making regarding whether to take certain medications, the BBC reported.

Patients trust friends more than science

The report, released yesterday, also revealed patients are more likely to trust the opinions of their family and friends than the results of clinical trials when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of their medication.

The Academy surveyed 2,041 members of the public and 1,013 GPs about their attitudes towards medical research.

Results revealed that 63 per cent of the public and 82 per cent of GPs are sceptical of claims made by drugs trials.

Many have major doubts following a series of scares over the safety of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), cholesterol-lowering statins and the antiviral drug Tamiflu.

The findings also demonstrate just 37 per cent of the public trust evidence from medical research, while 65 per cent value the opinion of friends and family.

Perhaps surprisingly, 82 per cent of GPs believe medical research is biased in favour of drugs appearing effective and safe.

Just 37 per cent of the public trust medical research, yet 65 per cent value friends' advice  

Just 37 per cent of the public trust medical research, yet 65 per cent value friends’ advice .

Risks of unclear information 

Sir John Tooke, report chairman, said: ‘We all need medicines at some point in our life yet the decision as to whether to use a drug or not can be a confusing one as illustrated by numerous controversies played out in recent years – in relation to the use of statins to reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease; the risks and benefits associated with hormone replacement therapy and Tamiflu in the treatment of influenza.

‘Questions raised about the risk and benefit balance of being on statins were associated with large numbers of people stopping the drugs from which it has been inferred there could be 2,000 excess strokes and heart attacks over the next 10 years in the UK, so there can be health consequences from the result of confusion.

‘It is our view that unless we improve the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential harms and benefits of medicines, both established and new, patients will not reap the full advantage of scientific advance.’

He said: ‘It’s startling to hear that only about a third of the public trust medical research.

‘Patients are struggling to make sense of the information they receive from their doctor, the TV, the internet and their friends and family about medicines.

‘With our ageing population and ever more sophisticated treatments being made available, we need to act now to give patients clearer and more useful information about the medicines they take.’

Why the confusion? 

As well as the ongoing debate about whether the insomnia and muscle weakness side effects of statins outweigh its cholesterol-lowering properties, there is similar confusion regarding HRT  for the menopause and whether it causes breast cancer.

The NHS has claimed the benefits outweigh the risk, yet surveys have shown the majority of women are still very sceptical.

In addition, research published back in 2009 claimed that ‘more than half of children taking Tamiflu to combat swine flu suffer side effects such as nausea, insomnia and nightmares’.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said: ‘Medical science is progressing at an unprecedented rate, opening up opportunities not only to cure certain diseases but potentially to prevent them ever occurring.

‘It is vital that we find the best possible ways to use and communicate scientific evidence, so that progress may be translated into benefits for patients.’

[“Source-ndtv”]

New Cancer Treatment Uses Patient’s Immune System To Fight Disease

Image result for New Cancer Treatment Uses Patient’s Immune System To Fight DiseaseNEW YORK (KDKA) – Scientists are reporting unprecedented success with a new type of cancer treatment. It uses the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease.

Emma Collins looks like a typical 16-year-old girl now, but less than three years ago she was dying of cancer.

Kashaun Lawhown, 7, was facing the same fate.

Both of them were battling leukemia, and traditional treatments — chemotherapy and radiation — weren’t working.

A game changing experimental cancer treatment that utilizes the body’s own immune system gave them a second chance.

“The immune system has developed over many, many billions of years to actually get rid of things that don’t belong in the body, cancer doesn’t belong there,” Dr. Stephan Grupp said.

Dr. Grupp is the Director of Immunotherapy at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where Kashaun and Emma took part in a clinical trial for this revolutionary treatment.

“We collect white blood cells from the patient — those include T-cells. Those T-cells then go to a specific place where they are manufactured; reprogrammed to actually be able to attack cancer cells,” Dr. Grupp said.

These suped-up cells, now called CAR-T cells are then put back in the body where they multiply and get to work.

“When they find something that they recognize, like the B-cell leukemia, they kill that off,” Dr. Shannon Maude. said.

“If you had told me five years ago, how effective they would be, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Dr. Stephen Hunger said.

Better yet, some of the CAR T-Cells may actually stick around to fight a recurrence.

“A one-time treatment can certainly lead to at least five years of survival, and we hope can lead to cures,” Dr. Hunger said.

After battling leukemia for five years, it took just one T-cell treatment to finally put Kashaun’s cancer into remission.

“Everything worked out good and I’m healthy,” Emma said.

Just four days after her treatment there was no sign of her cancer. What’s more amazing, she’s been in remission now for 18 months.

Out of many, many years, or many, many people doing a lot of work to come to this point, it’s really exciting,” Dr. Maude said.

The CAR-T therapy is effective mainly against leukemia and lymphoma but researchers are working to also use it against so-called solid tumors like breast, colon, and lung.

Not all patients have their cancer destroyed, the trials have been positive enough that the FDA is expected to approve the therapy this year.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Nearly 1/2 of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects, 1 in 20 Indians suffers from depression

Health weekly roundupHealth weekly roundup
This week was packed with some very shocking yet important health news. To ensure that you don’t miss any, we bring you a weekly roundup. Here is this week’s aggregation of the latest news stories on health, fitness and diet.

Insomnia may triple the risk of asthma: Study

Asthma affects approximately 300 million people worldwide, with major risk factors including smoking, obesity and air pollution.

Mother’s cervical bacteria may help prevent premature birth

The presence of bacteria in a woman’s vagina and cervix may either increase the risk of premature birth or have a protective effect against it, researchers say.

Attention parents! Cooking in those aluminium pans may reduce your kid’s IQ

The findings published in journal Science of the Total Environment, indicate that cadmium is neurotoxic in children and causes kidney damage which is linked to cardiovascular deaths and is carcinogenic.

Eating celery, broccoli can improve treatment of breast cancer

The findings indicate that Luteolin, a naturally occurring, non-toxic plant compound that has been proven effective against several types of cancer.

‘Anxiety, depression may up risk of death from cancers’

Higher levels of anxiety and depression may increase the risk of death from certain cancers, scientists have warned.

Nearly half of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects

Many women being treated for breast cancer suffer from severe treatment side effects even when they don’t receive chemotherapy, a recent study suggests.

One in every 20 Indians suffers from depression

Indians popped in more anti-depressants than ever before in 2016, indicating perhaps that they are now more open to the idea of seeking help for mental health problems.

Wrongly diagnosed foot injury may cause arthritis, chronic pain

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Review has highlighted the importance of additional imaging, second opinions for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Investments in health research and development (R&D) are poorly aligned with global public health needs, the World Health Organisation said.

Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study

Mediterranean diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for six months may benefit people with HIV and Type 2 diabetes.

Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers

Scientists have developed a cheap and non-invasive test that can measure the levels of five chemicals in the breath to detect cancers of the oesophagus and stomach with 85 per cent accuracy.

source”cnbc”

Nearly 1/2 of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects, 1 in 20 Indians suffers from depression

Health weekly roundupHealth weekly roundup

This week was packed with some very shocking yet important health news. To ensure that you don’t miss any, we bring you a weekly roundup. Here is this week’s aggregation of the latest news stories on health, fitness and diet.

Insomnia may triple the risk of asthma: Study

Asthma affects approximately 300 million people worldwide, with major risk factors including smoking, obesity and air pollution.

Mother’s cervical bacteria may help prevent premature birth

The presence of bacteria in a woman’s vagina and cervix may either increase the risk of premature birth or have a protective effect against it, researchers say.

Attention parents! Cooking in those aluminium pans may reduce your kid’s IQ

The findings published in journal Science of the Total Environment, indicate that cadmium is neurotoxic in children and causes kidney damage which is linked to cardiovascular deaths and is carcinogenic.

Eating celery, broccoli can improve treatment of breast cancer

The findings indicate that Luteolin, a naturally occurring, non-toxic plant compound that has been proven effective against several types of cancer.

‘Anxiety, depression may up risk of death from cancers’

Higher levels of anxiety and depression may increase the risk of death from certain cancers, scientists have warned.

Nearly half of breast cancer patients have severe treatment side effects

Many women being treated for breast cancer suffer from severe treatment side effects even when they don’t receive chemotherapy, a recent study suggests.

One in every 20 Indians suffers from depression

Indians popped in more anti-depressants than ever before in 2016, indicating perhaps that they are now more open to the idea of seeking help for mental health problems.

Wrongly diagnosed foot injury may cause arthritis, chronic pain

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Review has highlighted the importance of additional imaging, second opinions for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Only 1% of R&D funds spent for HIV, TB and malaria: WHO

Investments in health research and development (R&D) are poorly aligned with global public health needs, the World Health Organisation said.

Healthy food may benefit people with HIV, diabetes: Study

Mediterranean diet loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for six months may benefit people with HIV and Type 2 diabetes.

Cheap breath test may detect stomach, oesophageal cancers

Scientists have developed a cheap and non-invasive test that can measure the levels of five chemicals in the breath to detect cancers of the oesophagus and stomach with 85 per cent accuracy.

Protein can cut progression of both inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer: Study

A new study finds that altering the shape of a protein can significantly reduce the progression of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.

Children exposed to complications at birth are at risk of autism, study finds

A study by Kaiser Permanente found that children who were exposed to complications shortly before or during birth, including birth asphyxia and preeclampsia, were more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder.

source”cnbc”

Smoking may harm HIV patients more than the virus itself

Smoking may harm HIV patients more than the virus itself ( Ineke Kamps/Getty Images)Smoking may harm HIV patients more than the virus itself ( Ineke Kamps/Getty Images)
Among people living with HIVwho smoke cigarettes, smokingmay shorten their lifespan more than HIV itself, warns a study by an Indian-origin researcher.

“A person with HIV who consistently takes HIV medicines but smokes is much more likely to die of a smoking-related disease than of HIV itself,” explained study author Krishna P. Reddy of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The study suggests that making smoking cessation a priority and finding effective ways to help people with HIV quit can significantly improve their lifespan.

“Now that HIV-specific medicines are so effective against the virus itself, we also need to add other interventions that could improve and extend the lives of people with HIV,” Reddy noted.

In their study, the researchers used a computer simulation of HIV disease and treatment to project the life expectancy of people living with HIV based on their smoking status.

For men and women with HIV who adhere well to HIV medicines, the study, published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that smoking reduces life expectancy by about twice as much as HIV.

“It is well-known that smoking is bad for health, but we demonstrate in this study just how bad it is,” Reddy said.

Smoking is especially dangerous for people living with HIV, putting them at high risk for heart disease, cancer, serious lung diseases, and other infections.

“We actually quantify the risk, and I think providing those numbers to patients can help put their own risks from smoking in perspective,” Reddy noted

source”cnbc”

Antibiotic History Of A Hospital Bed May Increase A Patient’s Risk Of Infection: Study

Antibiotic History Of A Hospital Bed May Increase A Patient's Risk Of Infection: Study

If the previous occupant of a hospital bed received antibiotics, the next patient who uses that bed may be at higher risk for a severe form of infectious diarrhea, according to a new study.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) diarrhea causes 27,000 deaths each year in the US Hospital patients taking antibiotics are particularly at risk for it, say the authors of the study. Antibiotics disturb the normal healthy bacteria of the gut so a C. diff infection can take hold.

The new study shows that “antibiotics given to one patient may alter the local microenvironment to influence a different patient’s risk” for C. diff infection, the researchers wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Other studies have also demonstrated that antibiotics can have a ‘herd’ effect – in other words, that antibiotics can affect people who do not themselves receive the antibiotics,” said lead author Dr. Daniel Freedberg of Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Freedberg and his colleagues studied more than 100,000 pairs of patients who sequentially occupied a given hospital bed in four institutions between 2010 and 2015, not including those who had recent C. diff infection or whose prior bed occupant was in the bed for less than 24 hours.

More than 500 patients, or less than 1 per cent of the total group, developed a C. diff infection as the second bed occupant.

The infections were 22 per cent more likely when then previous occupant had received antibiotics.

Other factors about the previous bed occupant were not associated with C. diff risk.

People can be carrying C. diff organisms without having any symptoms, Freedberg told Reuters Health by email. When these colonized patients receive antibiotics, C. diff may expand within their gut microbiome and start shedding more spores, which means more spores on the bed, the bedside table, the floor, and other areas, he said.
“The next patient who enters the room is thus more likely to be exposed to C. diff spores,” he said. “It’s not easy to sterilize the room/bed between patients because C. diff spores are extremely hardy. To be killed, they need to be soaked in a bleach-containing cleaning agent for an adequate amount of time.”

About half of patients in acute care facilities take antibiotics on any given day, said Kevin Brown of the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health, who was not part of the new study.

“That’s a huge portion of patients that could be involved in spreading the infection,” Brown told Reuters Health by email.

But the increased risk is modest, Freedberg added.

“There was a 22 percent relative increase in risk for C. diff with the prior patient’s antibiotics but there was a four-fold increase in risk related to the antibiotics received by the patient him- or herself,” he said.

Other patients, such as other antibiotic user patients within the ward, could have contributed increased risk as well, Brown said.

“Doctors (and patients) should avoid antibiotics in situations where they are not necessary,” Freedberg said. “Too often, antibiotics are prescribed without clear indications.”

“I think this evidence needs to be taken just as an association that needs further exploration,” said Jack A. Gilbert of Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois, who was not part of the new study.

“While it would be tempting to use these results to change policy, there are so many uncertainties here that such a move would not be advisable.”

source”gsmarena”

Nanoparticle Injections Hold Hope For Osteoarthritis Patients

Nanoparticle Injections Hold Hope For Osteoarthritis Patients
COMMENTS
Nanoparticle Injections Hold Hope For Osteoarthritis Patients
Photo for representational purpose only.
US researchers have designed a peptide-based nanoparticle, which when injected into an injured joint will not only suppress the inflammation immediately but also reduce the destruction of cartilage, thus lowering the risk for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down.

In this study, the nanoparticles were injected locally shortly after injury into the joint of the participants to penetrate into the injured cartilage to prevent cartilage breakdown that could eventually cause osteoarthritis.

Within 24 hours the nanoparticles were at work to tame the inflammation in the joint, the researchers said.

“These nanoparticles remain in the joint longer (than the traditional anti-inflammotory drugs) and help prevent cartilage degeneration,” said Associate Professor Christine Pham from Washington University in St. Louis in the US.

“The nanoparticles are injected directly into the joint, and due to their size, they easily penetrate into the cartilage to enter the injured cells,” added Professor Samuel Wickline of Washington University.
The newly developed nanoparticles carry a peptide derived from a natural protein called melittin that has been modified to enable it to bind to a molecule called small interfering RNA (siRNA).

The melittin delivers siRNA to the damaged joint, interfering with inflammation in cells.

It is more than 10 times smaller than a red blood cell, which helps them penetrate deeply into tissues, the researchers noted.

The findings were reported online in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

source”cnbc”
COMMENTS
Nanoparticle Injections Hold Hope For Osteoarthritis Patients
Photo for representational purpose only.
US researchers have designed a peptide-based nanoparticle, which when injected into an injured joint will not only suppress the inflammation immediately but also reduce the destruction of cartilage, thus lowering the risk for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down.

In this study, the nanoparticles were injected locally shortly after injury into the joint of the participants to penetrate into the injured cartilage to prevent cartilage breakdown that could eventually cause osteoarthritis.

Within 24 hours the nanoparticles were at work to tame the inflammation in the joint, the researchers said.

“These nanoparticles remain in the joint longer (than the traditional anti-inflammotory drugs) and help prevent cartilage degeneration,” said Associate Professor Christine Pham from Washington University in St. Louis in the US.

“The nanoparticles are injected directly into the joint, and due to their size, they easily penetrate into the cartilage to enter the injured cells,” added Professor Samuel Wickline of Washington University.
The newly developed nanoparticles carry a peptide derived from a natural protein called melittin that has been modified to enable it to bind to a molecule called small interfering RNA (siRNA).

The melittin delivers siRNA to the damaged joint, interfering with inflammation in cells.

It is more than 10 times smaller than a red blood cell, which helps them penetrate deeply into tissues, the researchers noted.

The findings were reported online in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.