BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The BCG and Autoimmunity Working Group announced today the availability of a new book, The Value of BCG and TNF in Autoimmunity, edited by Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Published by Elsevier under the Academic Press imprint, the book is the first comprehensive overview of research underway with the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) induction in autoimmune conditions. The book features proceedings from the First International Conference on BCG and TNF Signaling in the Treatment and Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases, which was held in London, UK, in October 2013. A follow-up conference is being scheduled for the fall of 2015.
Known for almost a century as a tuberculosis vaccine, BCG has shown promise in preclinical studies and in recent human clinical trials as an immune-modifying therapy for long-term diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. The rationale behind the drug’s use in autoimmunity is its ability to make the immune system produce a protein known as TNF in response to perceived danger, such as the introduction of bacteria or viruses, in the body. Autoreactive T cells, which attack the body’s own cells and tissues, appear to be particularly sensitive to the effects of TNF. Hopefully, certain autoimmune diseases can be treated by stimulating TNF to incite apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in autoimmune T cells.
“The goal of this book, the conference and the formation of our working group is to establish an ongoing collaboration among BCG researchers, advocates and funders. We have begun to understand the potential for this safe and affordable vaccine to improve, prevent and possibly reverse autoimmune diseases that, at the present time, are largely incurable. We look forward to the 2015 conference, updated book editions and broader collaborations as more members join the working group,” said Dr. Faustman.
BCG is actively being studied as a treatment for autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, which do not currently have a cure. The new book summarizes the international scientific research on the possible treatment of autoimmunity with BCG or TNF induction, and provides a rationale for the use of BCG at the forefront of clinical trials in autoimmunity. The Value of BCG and TNF in Autoimmunity is intended for clinical researchers and scientists working in the autoimmunity or immunology fields.
Dr. Faustman is Director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is currently leading the BCG Human Clinical Trials Program at MGH, which will soon launch a Phase II study to investigate BCG as a treatment to reverse advanced type 1 diabetes.
The book is available at the Elsevier Store and on ScienceDirect, Elsevier’s full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,200 peer-reviewed journals, almost 900 serials and 25,000 book titles.
A private media briefing will be held in New York City on Wednesday, May 7th, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. For more information, please contact Russell LaMontagne at Russell@corinthgroup.com
About the BCG and Autoimmunity Working Group
Organized by Dr. Denise Faustman of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, the BCG and Autoimmunity Working Group was formed to bring together an international group of researchers who are investigating the use of the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine and/or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) induction in the context of autoimmune disease prevention and treatment. The First International Conference on BCG and TNF Signaling in the Treatment and Prevention of Autoimmune Diseases, which was the inaugural meeting of this group, was held in London, UK, in October 2013. For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/BCGautoimmunity.