Dupuytren's disease affects about 4% of the UK population. It causes fingers to irreversibly curl into the palm, which can be extremely disabling. There is no approved treatment for early disease and patients with established deformities often require surgery to cut or remove the diseased tissue to straighten the fingers.
The winning paper "Anti-Tumour Necrosis Factor Therapy for Dupuytren's Disease: A Randomised Dose Response Proof of Concept Phase 2a Clinical Trial" explained how Professor Nanchahal's team identified tumour necrosis factor (TNF) as a potential therapeutic target and showed in this trial that injecting a concentrated formulation of anti-TNF directly into the diseased tissue effectively inhibits the cells causing the disease. The team have now completed recruitment to their phase 2b trial in patients with early stage disease to assess if injecting nodules of early stage Dupuytren's disease with a TNF inhibitor prevents disease progression. If successful, patients could receive a simple injection that would preserve hand function and avoid the need for subsequent more invasive treatments.
Professor Nanchahal said, "It is a great honour to receive this award on behalf of my team, and a recognition of our efforts to find a treatment for this debilitating disease."
The International Dupuytren Award, presented annually by the International Dupuytren Society, recognises exceptional scientific publications on research or clinical treatment of Dupuytren and/or Ledderhose disease.