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One Minute Insight

Professor Ken Smith talks about the work in immune diseases and finding new treatments that can help patients

New ways to manage vasculitis

White blood cells are cells of the immune system that helps protect the body against infection. They are important as they search and destroy bacteria that could cause harm to the human body. 

B-cells are a type of white blood cells that can produce harmful auto-antibodies which attack the body tissue.  This can lead to conditions such as vasculitis, when the immune system attacks blood vessels and it can be serious in some people.

Cambridge researchers have looked at the effect of depletion of B cells with a drug called Rituximab.

Through pilot and controlled studies, researchers have looked at the long-term benefit of Rituximab and how this drug would suit patients with vasculitis.  This has led to rituximab being accepted into the NHS commission guidance and national guidelines.