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December 4, 1981

Secrets of inflammation only partly revealed

JAMA. 1981;246(22):2543-2544. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320220007003

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The best way to deal with inflammation and resulting pain may be to control the migration of circulating monocytic leukocytes.

The key, according to Derek A. Willoughby, DSc, FRCPath, is to control rather than stop such migration because modern research has by no means disproved the old maxim that "inflammation is a salutary process." Since inflammation is a side effect of the efforts of leukocytes to deal with antigenic injury or insult, blocking WBC activity could well be harmful in the long run.

Willoughby, who is professor of experimental pathology and director of rheumatological research at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, was one of the speakers at a symposium on "Cellular Aspects of Inflammation" that was held in conjunction with the American Rheumatism Association meeting in Boston. Other speakers at the symposium were K. Frank Austen, MD, Theodore B. Bayles Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston; Christian René de