Tuesday, November 15, 2022

School of Dentistry-Led Team Takes Novel Approach to Treating Jaw Osteonecrosis

 Here is some potentially good news on a dental discovery which may lead to a cure for the dreaded disease BRONJ.  It seems that a team of very bright folks from the UCLA School of Dentistry have discovered a topically applied medicament that can allow these lesions to heal uneventfully.  

Last week I posted some new info from the AAMOS regarding this disease, and now we have some potentially groundbreaking news from UCLA.

Here is a portion of the article:

A team of scientists led by the UCLA School of Dentistry’s Ichiro Nishimura, D.D.S., D.M.Sc., D.M.D., has discovered a promising treatment to prevent or alleviate bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) through a newly formulated topical medication. 

 The findings published in an open-access research article in eLife demonstrated how BRONJ – visible as a morbid jawbone lesion – was rapidly closed and chronic gingival inflammation resolved in mice. Based on these promising results, in conjunction with UCLA’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Nishimura has submitted an application to the FDA requesting information for human trials.

 BRONJ is a rare but severe side effect seen in those who have been prescribed bisphosphonates to slow bone loss, either for bone cancer or more frequently, osteoporosis; those suffering from the latter is condition won a well-publicized 2008 class-action lawsuit against drug maker Merck. In turn, bisphosphonate prescriptions have declined over the past 15 years due to apprehension among patients and healthcare providers, correlating with a rise in bone fractures.

“BRONJ was a previously-unknown disease with persistent and painful jawbone necrosis without any available treatments; the only commonality among these patients was a history of anti-resorptive drug treatment such as bisphosphonates,” said Nishimura. “In 2006, our team at UCLA’s Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology hosted a retreat with scientists and clinicians determined to solve this mysterious disease.”

To read the article in its entirety, follow this link.   

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