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Strategic Research Centre: Joint pain

Targeting joint disease in cystic fibrosis: identifying therapeutic targets in CF arthropathy.

Background

The life expectancy for people living with cystic fibrosis is growing all the time. As a result, the effects that CF has on other parts of the body over time are becoming a new issue for doctors and members of the community alike. Joint pain and arthropathy (disease of the joints) affects more than 1 in 10 people living with CF, yet there is currently no CF-specific method for diagnosing and assessing these problems. Joint pain can have a severe impact on mobility and the ability for people living with cystic fibrosis to live their lives to the full.

How will it work?

This Strategic Research Centre will focus on delivering ground-breaking research into cystic fibrosis-related arthropathy (CFA), with the aim of developing a specific classification for CFA, determining therapeutic targets, and investigating the role of ultrasound technology in identifying joint inflammation.

Over four years, the study will also be investigating the link between joint inflammation and inflammation of the lungs in people with cystic fibrosis, determining whether the mechanisms of the two conditions are linked. The study will focus on how molecules involved in causing inflammation of the lungs could also result in inflammation of the joints, and therefore whether drugs that inhibit these molecules could be used to mitigate both lung and joint inflammation.

Who is involved?

Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Professor Michael McDermott (Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine)

Co-PIs:

  • Dr Daniel Peckham (St James Hospital Leeds)
  • Dr Sinisa Savic (Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine)
  • Dr Andrew Jones (University Hospitals South Manchester)
  • Dr Alex Horsley (University Hospitals South Manchester)
  • Dr Fabio Martinon (Lausanne University & Centre of Infection & Immunity Switzerland)
  • Dr Jane Freeston (Chapel Allerton Hospital Leeds)
  • Dr Pauline Y P Ho (Manchester Royal Infirmary)

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What is CF?

Cystic fibrosis, or CF, affects the lungs, digestive system and other organs, and there are around 10,500 people living with it in the UK.

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