Sutton Arthritis Research Laboratories
The Sutton Laboratory focuses on research into inflammatory disorders, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our research examines whether the natural anticoagulant, activated protein C (APC), reduces the severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by preventing the abnormal immune response and subsequent inflammatory response. This approach is different to that used with the current range of “biological” therapy. In addition to RA, other autoimmune/inflammatory conditions being studied include inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis and chronic wounds. These studies involve collaboration with numerous RNSH staff from various hospital departments including Rheumatology, Orthopaedics, Dermatology, Endocrinology and The Severe Burns Unit.
Our translational research into wound healing which began in continues to advance. We have exhaustively tested the mechanisms of action of APC to heal wounds in the laboratory. In 2011, in collaboration with surgeons from the Severe Burns Unit, we have conducted a clinical trial on patients with recalcitrant orthopaedic wounds. These wounds involve exposed bones or tendons and will not accept a skin graft so are notoriously difficult to heal, often remaining as ulcers for many years and may eventually require amputation of the limb. We trialled APC on six patients with these chronic wounds who were receiving vacuum therapy. All patients responded well to the APC therapy and their wounds healed rapidly.