There is no proven therapy for patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), nor are there any clinical trials for vCJD treatments in progress in the United Kingdom.
Some current UK vCJD patients are being treated with Pentosan Polysulphate, which may extend life, on an individual basis.
The Department is currently providing funding for a six-year multi-million pound collaboration between the MRC Prion Unit and GlaxoSmithKline with the objective of developing an effective drug for human prion infection and disease. In addition the National Prion Monitoring Cohort study, also funded by the Department at the MRC Prion Unit, has as an objective to monitor use of anti-prion agents if and when used.
The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Surveillance Unit:
reports the number of cases diagnosed as:
Diagnosis 2000 27 2001 25 2002 16 2003 16 2004 8 2005 6 2006 6 2007 1 2008 1 2009 3 2010 0 Total 109
All cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) where the genotype is known are MM at codon 129 of the PrP gene.
There has been one case of possible vCJD reported in a patient with MV genotype at codon 129 of the PrP gene. This patient did not fulfil the probable clinical case definition for vCJD as set by the World Health Organization, and is therefore not included in the figures for definite or probable vCJD.