Monday, March 10, 2014

Weekday Links Part 1: Low Dose Naltrexone for Chronic Pain, Traveling Increasing Risk of Crohn's, Patent for Oral Anti-TNF, Qu Biologics Trial

I got a little carried away and found many links in the past couple of weeks and found some great links. So enjoy!

LDN for Anti-inflammatory treatment chronic pain
     For a while now I have been blogging about low dose naltrexone (LDN) and how it really has shown benefits for Crohn's patients here, Originally approved for alcoholics in the late 1980's the drug has shown promise for people with Crohn's disease and other chronic illnesses. Since 2007 Dr. Jill Smith of Penn State has shown that LDN has helped Crohn's patients with very limited side effects. The only problem is the trials for LDN are small (< 50 patients). For major drugs you generally needed hundreds of patients.

This article talks about how low dose naltrexone is low cost and well tolerated. However, the article points out that the sample sizes are low and replications of studies have not occurred. The article does finally conclude that LDN may possibly be used for management of chronic pain disorders

Traveling Increased Risk of Crohn's 
This is probably a favorite study of mine and something I have been wondering about for a while. It seems as if traveling in an airplane could induce some inflammation. An even better study would be to take a c-reactive test while in the air and then when people land to see if it changes. The thinking is that hypoxia can lead to inflammation in the gastrointestinal track. The patients who frequently traveled and go to places above 2,000 meters had more flare ups when compared to patients in remission.

Patients Benefit From Second Treatment of Remicade (Infliximab)
In a study where 29 patients who had Crohn's disease who took Remicade (infliximab) and Humira (adalimumab) restarted Remicade. The conclusion was that a second treatment of Remicade after Remicade or Humira don't work could help.

Patent Awarded to Avaxia for Oral Anti-TNF for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Drug company Avaxia Biologics filed a patent (AVX-470) in order to deliver anti-TNF (Remicade and Humira) to patients. I had read before that creating an oral anti-TNF would be difficult because of the way the digestive track broke down the medicine. The drug it looks like the Phase 1b clinical trials are for ulcerative colitis.

Qu Biologics Opens Crohn's Trial to U.S. Participants
I have been following Qu Biologics for a while. The company is a small Canadian company that has probably come up with the most novel therapy to treat Crohn's. The company uses Site Specifics Immunomodulators (SSI) which are used in order to reboot the immune system. 60 patients are being used in the drug trial. 10 patients have already been treated and the results are pretty good. 70% of patients showed a full resolution of clinical symptoms after 3 months or more. 40% of the 70% or (28% of the overall patients) had sustained clinical remission after discontinuing all medications (including the SSI treatment)! This is pretty amazing that patients were able to not only stop the actual treatment but all other treatments. Hopefully SSIs can be used to help people with Crohn's in the near future.

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