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Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

One step closer to curing osteoarthritis back pain: Dr. Lisbet Haglund

Since we first introduced you to Dr. Haglund’s research, she and her team have made exciting progress thanks to your leadership support. 

The problem: Chronic low back pain is common in people with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis in the back can occur when intervertebral discs (IVD) – the discs between the vertebrae of the spine – degenerate.

The research: When IVD cells have stopped growing and multiplying but haven’t died, they are referred to as senescent. Dr. Lisbet Haglund and her team at McGill University are investigating ways to kill IVD cells that are senescent using novel therapies. 

The findings: The researchers have proven that two novel therapies, called RG7112 and O-vanillin, can kill senescent IVD cells. The drugs effectively reduced inflammation and degeneration in IVD samples obtained from patients undergoing back surgery. The therapies have also been effective in reducing pain in an animal model. Dr. Haglund’s research could revolutionize how lower back pain is treated, bringing relief to millions of people worldwide. Thanks to your support, we’re one step closer to finding a cure for osteoarthritis-related back pain. 

Read our Top 10 Research Advances of 2021