Study Demonstrates Promise for Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk) Inhibitors for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis


Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) is an important mediator of inflammatory signals from extracellular receptors to the nucleus of immune cells.  Inhibiting Syk with the oral, small-molecule inhibitor fostamatinib has shown efficacy compared to placebo in a short term study of RA patients on background methotrexate.  Here, Weinblatt et al (NEJM 2010; published online ahead of […]

Lower Dose of Rituximab for RA Treatment Explored


The dosage of rituximab commonly used in clinical practice (1000 mg infused twice, separated by two weeks) is largely empirically based.  It is unclear whether lower doses will result in reduced efficacy or improved safety.  Here, Emery et al (Ann Rheum Dis 2010; 69: 1629) explore patient outcomes in RA patients treated with 2 x […]

Urate Lowering Effects of Milk Explored


Ingestion of dairy products has been associated with a lower risk of gout in observational studies. However, the mechanism underlying this protective effect is unstudied. In addition, the association could be related more to health behaviors associated with milk drinking, such as better general health and less consumption of alcohol and red meat, rather than […]

Are TNF Inhibitors Efficacious for the Treatment of Sciatica?


Inflammatory cytokines are implicated in the painful symptoms of sciatica, a common form of lumbar radiculopathy associated with intense pain and dysfunction. Case reports have suggested that TNF inhibitors may improve pain in individuals with sciatica. However, since sciatica is often self-limited, uncontrolled reports of efficacy may be misleading. Here, Genevay et al (Arthritis Rheum […]

Does Antioxidant Intake Protect Against the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus?


Antioxidants may protect tissues against damage, reduce systemic inflammation, and modulate antigen presentation by inflammatory cells.  However, no large-scale investigation on whether dietary and/or supplement intake of antioxidants is protective against the development of autoimmune rheumatic disease.  Here, Costenbader et al (American Journal of Epidemiology 2010; 172(2): 205) explore antioxidant intake and the risk of […]