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Inflammation & immunology: treatment at the molecular level

Inflammation is a critical response to potential danger signals and damage to organs in our body. However, with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and many others, our own immune system turns against our organs1.

These painful and debilitating conditions take an immense toll on people’s quality of life and many of these diseases are poorly managed by existing treatments that provide only symptomatic relief1. For decades, doctors relied on steroids to suppress immune response. Though an important option, steroids come with many potentially harmful side effects1.

Fortunately, science has continued to advance, and today we have the opportunity to transform the management of inflammatory diseases with new classes of therapies that target other key proteins and pathways in the body1.

As science evolves beyond broad immunosuppression and into more selective agents, patients living with autoimmune and inflammatory disease have new hope2. Pfizer scientists operate with a sense of urgency, focused on three areas with the greatest unmet need: Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Medical Dermatology. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body3

RA mainly attacks the joints, usually many joints at once. It commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness). RA can also affect other tissues throughout the body and cause problems in organs such as the lungs, heart, and eyes3

RA affects about 5 in 1000 people in Malaysia4. It is recommended to consult a doctor about RA early – 
within 6 months of the onset of symptoms – so that people with the disease can begin treatment to slow or stop disease progression (for example, damage to joints).  Diagnosis and effective treatments, particularly treatment to suppress or control inflammation, can help reduce the damaging effects of RA3

Pfizer Malaysia supports the Arthritis Foundation Malaysia’s effort in leading the fight for the arthritis community through information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. 

Explaining Rheumatoid Arthritis Guide

  • Arthritis Foundation Malaysia

Living with Arthritis 

1 Pfizer website. Science. Areas of focus. Vaccine Education Information. Last accessed: 2 April 2022. Retrieved from:

2 Pfizer SG website. Inflammation & Immunology. Last accessed: 2 April 2022. Retrieved from:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheumatoid arthritis. Last accessed: 2 April 2022. Retrieved from:

Arthritis Foundation Malaysia. Rheumatoid arthritis. Last accessed: 2 April 2022. Retrieved from:

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