Personalized Medicine in Rheumatology

By Phoebe Starr San Diego, CA—The dysregulation of angiogenic factors early in pregnancy may pave the way for a test to predict poor pregnancy outcomes in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and/or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), according to a study presented at the 2013 American College of Rheumatology meeting.
Assessing genetic risk can improve outcomes By Charles Bankhead The ability to predict who is at risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) improved significantly with a new model based on a combination of genetic risk scores, environmental factors, and gene–­environment interactions (GEIs), according to an analysis of 2 large cohort studies.
By Rosemary Frei, MSc There are finally some bright prospects in the search for accurate tools to diagnose patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to monitor the effects of treatment on the disease, according to the authors of a recent review article (Liu CC, et al. Biomarkers in systemic lupus erythematosus: challenges and prospects for the future. Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2013;5:210-233).
By Neil Canavan A study looking at families in which more than 1 member has fibromyalgia has found several strong genetic links for the disease. By examining the frequency of 341 distinct genetic markers, investigators determined that the estimated risk of fibromyalgia in siblings was 27.2% compared with just 2% in the overall population.
The Vectra DA test is a multibiomarker blood test that measures disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by integrating 12 key proteins that are consistently associated with the biology of RA into a single, objective, and quantitative score to help rheumatologists make more informed treatment decisions.
A detailed genetic analysis of more than 140,000 people of European ancestry has led to the discovery of 18 previously uncharacterized genetic loci that are associated with serum urate concentrations and could eventually be used as drug targets for the development of new therapies for patients with gout (Köttgen A, et al. Nat Genet. 2013;45:145-154). By Rosemary Frei, MSc
By Wayne Kuznar A panel of disease biomarkers can measure changes in disease activity in response to a range of therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), researchers announced at the 2012 meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).
By Phoebe Starr Ongoing research using DNA sequencing is being used to examine how the microbiome in the oral cavity and in the gastrointestinal tract affects autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scientists explained at the 2012 meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
Can inform clinical decision-making By Alice Goodman Thrombosis is more common in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) than in the general population and is associated with increased mortality. Researchers have recently identified specific genetic risk factors for thrombosis in pa­tients with SLE, and results of their study suggest that these risk factors differ among ethnic groups (Kaiser R, et al. J Rheumatol. 2012;39:1603-1610).
Combination therapy with corticosteroids ups infection risk by almost 5-fold By Neil Canavan Berlin, Germany—Taking another step forward toward the realization of personalized medicine in rheumatology, German researchers presented the results of a new study that validated their original RABBIT (Rheumatoide Arthritis: Beobach­tung der Biologika-Thera­pie) biologic register for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk score.
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