University of British Columbia researchers have discovered a potential new treatment for a rare blood cancer that may also point the way to treating other more common diseases.
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinemia (PNH) is a rare form of cancer characterized by episodic rupture of red blood cells and the danger of blood clots forming in the vascular system. The condition results in red blood cells becoming vulnerable to attacks by the body’s own complement immune system and can lead to complications such as anemia, kidney disease, and fatal thromboses.
In a clinical study published in PLOS ONE, the UBC team, led by Dr Patrick McGeer, professor emeritus in UBC’s Department of Psychiatry, applied aurin tricarboxylic acid (ATA), a nontoxic drug, to blood samples of five patients with PNH who were undergoing standard treatment with antibodies administered through biweekly infusions.
Researchers found the addition of ATA restored blood cell resistance to complement system attacks, while the antibodies alone did not offer full protection.
Since many diseases are caused or worsened by an overactive complement immune system, Dr McGeer believes the discovery of ATA’s effectiveness in this rare disease could have wide-reaching implications for conditions such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, macular degeneration, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Further testing is underway and Dr McGeer hopes the treatment may be available in clinics within a year.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org