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August 20, 1982

T-cell stimulator undergoes diverse testing

JAMA. 1982;248(7):807-811. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330070005002

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Thymosin, a semipurified extract from the thymus gland that is being tested as a T lymphocyte stimulator, now will be evaluated in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

In what it says are "the first such trials in the United States," George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC, is beginning a doubleblind study of approximately 60 patients with adultonset rheumatoid arthritis. They will be divided into two groups receiving thymosin (different dosages) and one group receiving a placebo.

Extracts of thymosin fraction 5, which has been used to treat children with immunodeficiencies, will be administered by injection twice weekly (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1981;246:205, 1977;237:429-438). The study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md, and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc, Nutley, NJ, is expected to last two to three years.

Patients participating must be aged 18 years or older, have had continuous disease activity for at least six months, and have