More than 100 different chronic, incurable diseases result from autoimmunity, and the list is growing along with their incidence. Without a cure, each of these autoimmune diseases involves a difficult diagnostic odyssey with GPs and different specialists. Even after a diagnosis is made, what remains unsolved is the root cause for the immune system going rogue.
The Hope Research team have learned a great deal in the past two years of exploring the genomic pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. In 2019, Hope researchers chose a group of 42 different autoimmune diseases to study over 5-7 years and to date, 20 different diseases have been activated by the program
Hope Research will deliver hope to the 1 in 8 Australians living with autoimmune disease.
Garvan’s Professor Chris Goodnow believes there may be a common cause underlying autoimmune diseases. These are ‘rogue clones’ – rogue immune cells circulating and causing tissue and organ damage as the body attacks itself. These rogue clones then circulate and replicate in the blood.
Hope Research will identify bad mutations in cells (which result in rogue cells), and use brand new sophisticated cellular genomic technology to determine exactly what each cell is doing, instead of guessing by studying large groups of cells.
We can then pinpoint chinks in the armour of the rogue clones, hopefully making them susceptible to new drugs and immunotherapy.
Finding a cause
Progress to date
Work to identify rogue clones from patients suffering from lupus and Sjögren's syndrome is underway. It is already clear these rogue cells may be identified by unique characteristics and may be targeted in ways that current treatments do not offer.
The team are applying their early findings fore more than 42 common and debilitating autoimmune diseases.
Finding the answer to autoimmune disease requires innovative research, and we can only do this with your support.
To understand, and eventually eliminate rogue clones from the immune system, we need a collaborative, large-scale approach, leveraging the best research technology and expertise.