Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is one of the rarest and most disabling genetic conditions known. The University of Oxford is one of the few places in the world where this disease is being researched, with support from donations.

FOP causes bone to form in muscles, tendons and ligaments. As the disease progresses, movement becomes restricted by a ‘second skeleton’. It affects one in every two million people, with only 47 cases confirmed in the UK. People with FOP face a dramatically shorter life expectancy – the average is 40 years.‘It is one of the most devastating conditions known to man,’ says Christopher Bedford-Gay, whose six-year-old son Oliver was diagnosed with FOP a few years ago. ‘It is also frequently misdiagnosed as cancer, because it’s so rare, which often results in quite rapid progression of the disease through mistreatment.’ This is because any lesion, such as those caused by taking a biopsy or having surgery, can trigger excessive bone growth.

Read more (Oxford Thinking website)

Similar stories

Labelling proteins through the diet gives new insights into how collagen-rich tissues change as we age

A new study, published in eLife, uses advanced tissue analysis technology to show how the incorporation of new proteins changes in bone and cartilage with age.

Drug could help diabetic hearts recover after heart attack - Oxford research

Researchers at the University of Oxford have identified a drug that could ultimately help improve heart function in people with diabetes who have heart attacks.

Largest ever global study of tuberculosis identifies genetic causes of drug resistance

Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments.

Researchers set out steps to address mental health effects of the pandemic on young people

Researchers have outlined 14 steps that schools, mental health services and policymakers can take to help children and young people whose mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anti-cancer drug derived from fungus shows promise in clinical trials

A new industry-academic partnership between the University of Oxford and biopharmaceutical company NuCana as found that chemotherapy drug NUC-7738, derived from a Himalayan fungus, has 40 times greater potency for killing cancer cells than its parent compound.

No benefit of convalescent plasma for critically ill COVID-19 patients

A large study of over 2000 COVID-19 patients has found that giving critically ill patients blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients did not significantly reduce deaths, or the need for intensive care support such as being put on a ventilator machine.