Medicine

Tiny science, big benefits for the ageing

Nanotechnology, the study of tiny particles, is changing the face of treatment for many diseases that become more prevalent with ageing, like rheumatoid arthritis.

Professor Ranjeny Thomas FAHMS, Arthritis Queensland Chair of Rheumatology, University of Queensland will elaborate on the role of this exciting area of science in healthcare during the 2017 ATSE National Technology Challenges Dialogue titled The Crisis in Ageing – Technology to Manage the Challenges in Healthcare which will take place on June 14 2017 in Brisbane and be attended by entrepreneurs, decision makers, government officials, researchers, academics and business leaders.

“New therapies targeting the immune system have and continue to revolutionalise our capacity to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease,” said Professor Thomas, one of Australia’s foremost immunologists who specialises in rheumatoid arthritis research and who has developed a nanoparticle strategy for rheumatoid arthritis immunotherapy.

“Immunotherapies are now also revolutionising treatment of certain cancers, however, these treatments are expensive, are generally not curative and may have side effects,” Professor Thomas said.

“With the advent of disruptive treatments based on nanotechnology, we will increasingly see treatments become more personalised, less toxic, more reliant on individual genetic and other data, and moving towards prevention in at-risk individuals.”

A number of trials of nanoparticle immunotherapies are planned or in progress around the world to target autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, and various cancers.

“This ultimately has enormous benefits for healthy aging, but will require considerable adjustment of providers and consumers to disruptions in approach,” she said.

Source: ATSE

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