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Novel Immunotherapy Shows Promise in Preclinical Studies of IC-Related Bladder Pain

DeBerry JJ, Saloman JL, Dragoo BK, Albers KM, Davis BM. Artemin Immunotherapy Is Effective in Preventing and Reversing Cystitis-Induced Bladder Hyperalgesia via TRPA1 Regulation. J Pain. 2015 Jul;16(7):628-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.03.014. Epub 2015 Apr 17.

This report suggests that a novel immunotherapeutic approach called anti-artemin may be effective in treating bladder hyperalgesia (or increased sensitivity to pain) associated with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/BPS). The treatment is an antibody that neutralizes signaling of artemin, a protein in the body that can contribute to persistent pain. To test the effects of the treatment, researchers induced cystitis in a group of mice, and then applied the antibody; among other findings, they demonstrated that anti-artemin therapy blocked an increase in the quantity of TRPA1, a protein that also plays a role in ongoing bladder pain. The findings do suggest anti-artemin therapy is active, at least in this animal model of cystitis; further research would be needed to determine whether it’s an effective treatment strategy for IC/BPS patients.