Encore Research

Call us: 904.730.0166

News you can use..... 

Monoclonal Antibodies are the Research Rage.....

Monoclonal antibodies (MAb) are a hot topic in research these days, and there are almost 300 MAb under development for treatment of a wide variety of diseases.   An area of medicine that was once reserved for “Star Trek” characters has become reality, and you don’t have to be a science fiction fan to appreciate this intriguing new approach.

What exactly is a MAb and why are they interesting?  Antibodies are specialized proteins and an important component of our immune systems.  Antibodies find and target specific molecules on the surface of cells and then attract other members of the immune system to attack and destroy the target.  Scientists now have the capability to make a large number of exact copies of a single antibody aimed at a specific target, and these copies are called Monoclonal antibodies.  The antibody itself can be used to interfere with an unwanted cell or function, or an additional drug can be attached to the antibody, which is then used like a guided missile to deliver the treatment directly to the target.  Because these MAb are designed to reach a specific target, they can hunt down a certain type of cell or molecule and directly affect that mark with fewer unwanted side effects on other tissues.

As with all new treatments, drugs based on Mab technology undergo rigorous testing first in the lab and then ultimately in clinical trials before making it to market.  You may already know someone who has benefitted from Mab’s - Humira or Symponi for inflammatory disease, Xolair for asthma, and Herceptin for breast cancer are all examples of MAb-based treatments.  Our encore sites are excited to be active participants in the drug development process and to offer our patients the opportunity to be involved in Mab clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, high cholesterol, peripheral vascular disease, and prevention of cardiovascular events – and more to come!

Posted by Amy Autry Bush Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:06:00 AM

Removing the mystery from a new experience can make a world of difference 

When my boys were small we enjoyed reading together Paddy Dog Sees a Ghost, a book about a silly dog afraid to go into the forest because he sees a ghost waving to him in the trees. Well, it turns out that the ghost is simply a white piece of fabric stuck on a branch, and with the help of his good friends the duck and the cat, who reveal the threat to be no threat at all, Paddy Dog once again feels safe to go into the forest.

I have a silly dog at home myself, and while his name is not Paddy Dog, that is exactly what I call him at his sillier moments. During a spell of cold weather last Spring, I covered a tender shrub with a sheet to protect it from the freeze. I was inside the house visiting with a close friend when my “Paddy Dog” started barking his head off and running in and out the doggie door to alert me to some new, imminent danger in the back yard. When we had finally had enough and went outside to see what was up, I realized that his distress was caused by the white “ghost” that had suddenly appeared in his backyard. He was overcome with alarm.

There was nothing for it: the only way to restore the peace was to demonstrate to Paddy Dog that what he interpreted as a threat was nothing but a bed sheet covering a shrub. I uncovered the plant, showed Paddy Dog the sheet, and, to our relief, tranquility was restored to the yard.

After this funny experience I got to thinking about how we perceive threat. For Paddy Dog, it was the sudden appearance of the unknown in an otherwise familiar environment that was threatening. When the bush was uncovered, the threat explained, and the menacing exposed as benign, all was well with the world. Research can be just like this. New and unknown medications, procedures, and therapies can be mysterious and somewhat frightening. We at JCCR understand this, and our commitment to information access and health education sets us apart in the research community. We have decades of experience venturing with our patients into the forest and pulling the sheet from the branch. We don’t believe in ghosts!

Posted by Admin Monday, August 5, 2013 5:37:00 PM Categories: Musings