This week’s article, Promising Psoriasis Treatment Signals Hope for microRNA Therapies, was originally published on the Spoonful of Medicine blog on 2/26/14. (If you are interested in reading the original paper that this article is about, the link is here.)
Antibody therapy: “…newer antibody-based therapies provide some relief for some of the most severe cases…“
Cytokine (specifically the Overview section on the page): “…immune cells infiltrate the skin and release molecules called cytokines that stimulate the skin cells to grow too rapidly.“
microRNA (also known as miRNA/miR): “…a short bit of genetic material that influences the production of proteins in cells…”
Modes of drug delivery: “Wagner says that his team has not yet figured out how to get the inhibitor to cross the skin barrier, aside from simply injecting it just beneath the surface…”
Psoriasis: “Nearly 2% of people worldwide chronically suffer from itchy and painful patches on their bodies, the manifestation of psoriasis…”
I find new developments in therapeutics interesting, regardless of what disease they are treating. With respect to that, I chose this week’s article to highlight an advance in the field of microRNA-based therapies, which are another up-and-coming area of research and development. When new treatments enter into clinical trials, one hurdle they must overcome is how they compare to current treatments for the same disease: does this new treatment work better? does it have less side effects? does it treat a different population of patients? In the case of psoriasis, there are already many treatment options available, including antibody therapy, immune suppressants, and corticosteroids, but the hope is that this anti-miR-21 therapy will work for patients for whom existing treatments have been unsuccessful. So far the treatment has only been tested in xenograft mouse models, but the results appear promising!