Today is World Arthritis Day. According to data released by the ABS in March 2022, 78.6 per cent of all Australians had a long-term health condition in 2020-21, with arthritis being the third most prevalent condition (12.5% of Australians).
Analgesia has been the mainstay of management for several years (paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs both oral and topical) though many people are also turning to a number of alternatives. Especially as the negative long term side effects of analgesia are becoming more known.
The most commonly used alternatives include omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. fish/krill oil), glucosamine and vitamins, chondroitin, minerals and herbal medicines.
It is important to recognise that many of the most commonly used supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin among them, have been shown to be no more beneficial than placebo. Others appear to have modest effects (e.g. curcumin, Boswellia, pycnogenol).
The use of supplements to manage arthritis is recognised as a key component of arthritis self-management, but for them to be of most benefit, people need to be properly informed about their efficacy and quality use of these medications in conjunction with the other medications they’re taking.
Looking beyond medication or supplements, Australia is at the forefront of clinical research and trials, which are intended to develop new medicines to help patients better manage their arthritis and hopefully one day cure it.
For those over 40 that have suffered with mild to moderate knee pain from osteoarthritis for some time, the University of Sydney is leading our SCUlpTOR trial which is looking into the potential modification of osteoarthritis (OA).
The trial seeks to determine whether or not stem cell injections into the knee improves symptoms and slows disease progression to improve underlying disease (i.e. potential cure) and therefore, quality of life.
So, for those who have noticed their pain intensify over the years, it might be time to consider enrolling in our trial.
Exercise and movement
Although sounding contradictory to people with joint pain, physical activity has well-established benefits for arthritis. Regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for arthritis as it helps with stamina, muscle strength, pain and function.
However, 90% of people with arthritis do not meet physical activity guideline recommendations.
To better assess the benefits of exercise, the Epipha-knee trial in 198 subjects is investigating individualised physiotherapist-led walking, strengthening, and OA/activity education programs. One group of subjects will receive additional contemporary physiotherapist-delivered pain science education (PSE) about OA/pain and activity to improve patients’ knowledge.
The trial aims to determine whether the addition of PSE is more effective than simply undertaking the individualised program alone.
Further, according to a 212-person trial, a 12-week online unsupervised yoga program improved knee stiffness, quality of life, and arthritis self-efficacy improved more with yoga than the control intervention (those that didn’t do the program). Unfortunately, the yoga didn’t improve knee pain, nor was it sustained at 24 weeks.
Therefore, those with arthritis of the knee should still consider other forms of pain management.
And for those with thumb-based arthritis, a randomised, parallel trial that compared conservative treatments with an education comparator found that combined treatments improve hand function for those with thumb base osteoarthritis.
Education is key. Arthritis Australia has developed a comprehensive online hub designed to help people manage the symptoms of joint pain or OA enabling them to live a more active and pain free life. An evaluation of My Joint Pain found improvements in self-management, lifestyle, and weight reduction.
Lastly, where appropriate, people suffering from arthritis could consider whether to see physiotherapists (to assist with exercise and physical activity), dietitians (usually to assist with weight loss in those above a healthy weight) and/or occupational therapists (to assist in advice regarding accommodations, joint protection use of equipment and functional independence).
The Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa is the sector’s foremost annual conference bringing together senior executives and top decision-makers in the industry to advance cutting-edge research into cures. Cynata CEO Dr Kilian Kelly presented on Cynata’s Cymerus technology and provided an update on the Company’s robust clinical pipeline.
In case you missed it, Cynata CEO & MD Dr Kilian Kelly provided investors with an update on The Company’s ongoing active trials and its priorities for the next 12 months, including what investors should be looking for.
Watch his presentation below.
Following its strategic review, and off the back of two critical clinical trial updates - the opening of Cynata’s acute Graft-versus-host disease trial for enrolment and the approval of its Phase 1 clinical trial in kidney transplant patients - CEO Dr Kilian Kelly sat down with Kalkine Media to discuss the milestones.
Cynata has received regulatory approval from the Competent (regulatory) Authority in the Netherlands for a Phase 1 trial of CYP-001 in kidney transplant patients. Professor Rabelink, who is leading the trial, said it aims to alleviate anti-rejection drug side effects which would be of huge benefit to transplant patients as the side effects of immunosuppressants can be very devastating.