07:00 AM

Finding Hope for the Smallest Patients

In a collaborative effort with Weill Cornell Medicine, HSS rheumatologist Karen Brandt Onel, MD, identified an effective treatment for children with systemic onset juvenile arthritis.

"When I first started, these were the hardest children to treat. They really didn't respond to any medications… They suffered from tremendous side effects including gaining of weight, changing in their face, they would be severely immunosuppressed and specifically they got a lot of arthritis of their hips and many of them needed to have hip replacements," Dr. Onel explained.

According to the video, Weill Cornell Medicine and HSS developed a pilot clinical trial with a drug that was originally created to treat adult rheumatoid arthritis. While it didn't work for adults, they found that the medication helped pediatric patients.

"You have children in the hospital who are desperately ill with daily fevers, and then you give them the medication and it just stops. Instantaneously. It is one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen," Dr. Onel noted.

Eva Chi, a two-year-old HSS patient, felt her symptoms improve dramatically after receiving the drug therapy.

Watch the full video at news.weill.cornell.edu