Vaccine cure for RA heads to human trial

A team of scientists at Newcastle University is preparing a small human trial to test a one-shot approach to curing rheumatoid arthritis with a vaccine devised from a patient's white blood cells. The cells are taken from the volunteers and manipulated with a recipe of chemicals, steroids and Vitamin D so they can suppress the immune system rather than spur it. And a single jab could be enough to suppress the auto-immune response that triggers rheumatoid arthritis.

"This is an important potential cure. It is possible one injection could switch off the abnormal immune response," Prof Alan Silman, medical director of the charity Arthritis Research Campaign, which funded the research, told the Telegraph. "If it works it could reverse the disease and stop further episodes."

If they are successful, the researchers believe that a one-shot approach to treating RA would be worth a considerable amount of money to patients. Silman said the vaccine would be sold in the UK for less than £25,000.

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