February 25th, 2014
Imagine living with a disease so rare it’s hard to get the proper diagnosis. Picture life as a patient with a condition so unique you can barely find a physician with the experience to treat it. Unfortunately, for the nearly 25 to 30 million Americans who suffer from one of the approximately 6,800 rare diseases recognized in the United States, this uncertainty is a reality. And it’s one of the primary reasons Johnson & Johnson and Janssen remain committed to uncovering treatment options for those facing unmet medical needs.
In the United States, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans. Some rare diseases affect only a fraction of that. For example, in the case of a disease called Multicentric Castleman’s disease, or MCD, the patient numbers are so low that it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate of the number of people impacted. However, based on approximate calculations, experts believe there are fewer than 2,000 Americans with this condition.*
So what is MCD? It is a disorder in which lymphocytes, a certain type of white blood cells, are over-produced, causing enlargement of lymph nodes or other internal organs containing lymphoid tissue.