Author(s): Pinney JH, Hawkins PN
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Abstract The term amyloid describes the deposition in the extracellular space of certain proteins in a highly characteristic, insoluble fibrillar form. Amyloidosis describes the various clinical syndromes that occur as a result of damage by amyloid deposits in tissues and organs throughout the body. The clinical significance of amyloid varies enormously, ranging from incidental asymptomatic deposits to localized disease through to rapidly fatal systemic forms that can affect multiple vital organs. Currently available therapy is focused on reducing the supply of the respective amyloid fibril precursor protein and supportive medical care, which together have greatly improved survival. Chemotherapy and anti-inflammatory treatment for the disorders that underlie AL and AA amyloidosis are guided by serial measurements of the respective circulating amyloid precursor proteins, i.e. serial serum free light chains in AL and serum amyloid A protein in AA type. Quality of life and prognosis of some forms of hereditary systemic amyloidosis can be improved by liver and other organ transplants. Various new therapies, ranging from silencing RNA, protein stabilizers to monoclonal antibodies, aimed at inhibiting fibril precursor supply, fibril formation or the persistence of amyloid deposits, are in development; some are already in clinical phase.
This article was published in Ann Clin Biochem
and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research