Depression May Increase Risk of Developing an Autoimmune Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrea L. Roberts, MPH, PhD Research Associate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Roberts

Andrea L. Roberts, MPH, PhD
Research Associate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There is some evidence that depression may increase risk of autoimmune diseases. For example, among people with autoimmune diseases, more people have depression than in the general population. Also, people who have autoimmune diseases who also have depression have more severe disease symptoms.

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People With Sleep Apnea At Increased Risk of Gout

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr M Blagojevic-Bucknal Senior Lecturer in Statistics Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences  Keele University Staffordshire UK

Dr. Blagojevic-Bucknal

Dr M Blagojevic-Bucknal
Senior Lecturer in Statistics Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre
Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences
Keele University Staffordshire UK 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Evidence suggests that elevated serum uric acid levels, the cause of gout, are also frequently identified in patients with sleep apnoea However, despite prevalent hyperuricaemia in patients with sleep apnoea, shared risk factors with gout of obesity and alcohol consumption, and research identifying the associations between gout and other co-morbidities, few studies have considered the possibility of an association between sleep apnoea and gout in short and long term.

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Rare Inflammatory Muscle Inflammation Increased With Statin Exposure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Gillian E. Caughey PhD Senior Research Fellow | School of Medicine | Discipline of Pharmacology THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE Australia

Dr. Caughey

Dr Gillian E. Caughey PhD
Senior Research Fellow | School of Medicine
Discipline of Pharmacology
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed medications worldwide.  Muscular adverse effects (myalgia and myopathy) are well recognised adverse effects and symptoms resolve with cessation of statins.

Idiopathic inflammatory myositis (IIM) is a heterogeneous group of autoimmune myopathies that may also be associated with statin use. IIM does not resolve with cessation of statin therapy, requires treatment with immunosuppressive agents and is a severe, debilitating condition. To date, there have been no epidemiological studies examining exposure to statins and the association of histologically confirmed IIM.

In our case control study of 221 cases o fIdiopathic inflammatory myositis, there was an almost 2-fold increased likelihood of statin exposure in patients with IIM compared with controls (adjusted odds ratio, 1.79; 95%CI, 1.23-2.60). After observing a significant association of statin exposure with IIM, we conducted a sensitivity analysis where we excluded those patients with necrotizing myositis as recent studies have reported this type of IIM to be associated with statin use and the presence of autoantibodies against HMG-CoA reductase. Exclusion of these specific cases from the analysis did not change our study findings and an increased risk of Idiopathic inflammatory myositis with statin exposure remained (adjusted OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.29-2.86).  This suggest the potential association of all types of Idiopathic inflammatory myositis with statin exposure.

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Lupus: Phase 2 Trial of Baricitinib Improved Signs and Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel J. Wallace M.D., FACP, MACR Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center David Geffen School of Medicine Center at UCLA In affiliation with Attune Health  Beverly Hills, Ca 90211

Dr. Wallace

Daniel J. Wallace M.D., FACP, MACR
Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
David Geffen School of Medicine Center at UCLA
In affiliation with Attune Health
Beverly Hills, Ca 90211

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

 

Response: This is the first positive study of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) using baricitinib,  a small oral molecule that blocks the JAK system.

The human kinome consists of 500 genes and helps regulate cell surface receptor interaction. While agents that inhibit certain pathways are approved for rheumatoid arthritis and certain malignancies, this is the first study of its kind in SLE.

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Stress Disorders Linked to Increase Risk of Autoimmune Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Huan Song Associated Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Karolinska Institutet

Huan Song

Huan Song
Associated
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Karolinska Institutet

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Earlier findings from our group (e.g. Fang et al., NEJM 2012; Arnberg et al., Lancet Psychiatry 2015; Lu et al., JAMA Oncol 2016; Shen et al., BMJ 2016; Zhu et al., Ann Oncol 2017) have identified pathways through which stressful events contribute to deterioration in human health. With strong animal models and human data supporting a role of stress in immune dysregulation, the hypothesis linking mental distress with autoimmune is indeed plausible. However, the evidence is as yet limited to clinical observations and a few larger observational studies on US veterans, most of them on men only, and some of which have cross-sectional designs and various other methodological shortcomings.

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More Weight Loss Linked To Greater Decrease in Knee Arthritis Pain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wake Forest professor of Health and Exercise Science Steve Messier, Friday, June 15, 2018.

Prof. Messier

Professor Steve Messier
Director of the J.B. Snow Biomechanics Laboratory
J.B Snow Biomechanics Laboratory
Wake Forest University

MedicalResearch.com: Why did you undertake this study?

Response: This was a secondary analysis of the Intensive Diet and Exercise for Arthritis (IDEA) clinical trial originally published in JAMA in 2013, Volume 310, Number 12, pages 11263-1273.

We were interested to see if losing 20% of your body weight had any additional benefits compared to a 10% weight loss that we previously have shown to be beneficial.

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Cardiovascular Risk and Gout Treatment: Febuxostat v. Allopurinol

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Gout in my foot” by vagawi  is licensed under CC BY 2.0Seoyoung C. Kim, MD, ScD, MSCE
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics
Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Since patients with gout are at an increased risk of cardiovascular events, we wanted to examine comparative cardiovascular safety of the two most commonly used urate-lowering drugs – febuxostat and allopurinol.

Using claims data from US Medicare, we conducted a cohort study of 24,936 febuxostat initiators PS-matched to 74,808 allopurinol initiators.

We found the risk of the primary cardiovascular endpoint (MI or stroke) was similar between the two groups. Analyses on secondary endpoints as well as all-cause mortality showed similar findings except that febuxostat was associated with a modestly reduced risk of heart failure exacerbation among patients with preexisting heart failure. In our sensitivity analysis, the risk of all-cause mortality associated with long-term use of febuxostat v. allopurinol appears to be increased but statistically not significant.

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Number of Joint Replacements Drop in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hip Replacement NIH Image

Hip Replacement
NIH Image

Samuel Hawley | Research Assistant (NIHR PhD Project) |
Pharmaco- and Device Epidemiology Group |
Centre for Statistics in Medicine | NDORMS |
University of Oxford 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The aim was to disentangle some of the potential reasons for the recent decline in joint replacement rates among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in the developed world.

The main findings from our UK patient-level analysis indicated that joint replacement rates were not significantly different for users of TNF inhibitors versus the patients who remained only on conventional synthetic DMARDS, however we did find that TNF inhibitor use amongst older RA patients was associated with a 40% reduction in hip replacement rates. Continue reading

Synovial tissue profiling in autoantibody positive at risk individuals reveals gene signatures associated with later development of rheumatoid arthritis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Lisa van Baarsen PhD Principal Investigator at the Amsterdam Rheumatology and Immunology Cente Academic Medical Center the Netherlands.

Dr. van Baarsen

Dr. Lisa van Baarsen PhD
Principal Investigator at the Amsterdam Rheumatology and Immunology Cente
Academic Medical Center
the Netherlands 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The discovery that autoantibodies can be present years before the onset of clinical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) enables us to study autoantibody positive individuals who are at risk of developing RA. In patients with established disease the target tissue of RA, the synovial joints, is characterized by cellular infiltration and inflammation. Moreover, successful therapy decreases this synovial inflammation. In the past, our department already showed (PMID: 21177292; PMID: 24574210) that in autoantibody positive at risk individuals there is no overt cellular infiltration present in the synovium.

In the current study we performed a so called discovery-based approach to investigate at a genome-wide gene expression level (using microarrays) whether the synovium is altered at a molecular level before onset of rheumatoid arthritis.

Our molecular and microscopic studies on synovial biopsies obtained from autoantibody positive individuals indeed revealed interesting differences between those at risk individuals who developed disease after follow up and those who did not. Continue reading

Premature Mortality in Rheumatoid Arthritis Reduced With Early Treatment

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Maarten Boers, MSc, MD, PhD

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
VU University Medical Center–F wing MedFac
Amsterdam, Netherlands

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mortality in rheumatoid arthritis is increased. Recent (short-term) studies suggest the situation is improving, but in studies with long (>10-year) follow up the increased mortality persists.

We have been following a trial cohort of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated right from the beginning of disease (the COBRA trial) for 23 years and now, for the first time, show normal mortality compared to the general population.

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Which NSAID for Knee Pain Works Best?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“dog” by Neil Mullins is licensed under CC BY 2.0Deborah S. Cummins, PhD

Director, Research, Quality and Scientific Affairs
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
On behalf of the researchers:
David Jevsevar, MD, MBA; Gregory A. Brown, MD, PHD, and Deborah S. Cummins, PhD

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is estimated that individuals have a 45% risk of developing knee osteoarthritis (OA) in their lifetime. As a result of the shifting demographics of the US, where an increasing percentage of the population is older than 65, the burden of knee OA will continue to increase. To help deal with this burden, effective nonsurgical treatments are needed to manage knee OA symptoms associated with pain and function before surgical intervention becomes necessary. To determine which non-surgical options are best, we performed a network meta-analysis exploring mixed treatment comparisons for nonsurgical treatment of knee osteoarthritis in order to effectively rank the various nonsurgical treatment options from best to worst.

Our network meta-analysis suggests that the single most effective nonsurgical treatment for improving knee function is function is naproxen, followed by diclofenac, celecoxib, and ibuprofen. When considering pain and function together, our data suggest that naproxen is the most effective treatment followed by IA corticosteroid injection.

The single most effective short-term (4-6 weeks) treatment for decreasing pain is intra-articular (IA) corticosteroid injection, followed by ibuprofen, IA platelet rich plasma, and naproxen. Additionally, intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections never achieved a rank in the top five treatments for pain, function, or combined pain and function. An analysis of 12 articles also found that HA is not significantly different than IA placebo in effect.

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Mono Virus Linked To Some Cases of Lupus

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John B. Harley, MD, PhD Professor and Director David Glass Endowed Chair Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) Department of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

Dr. Harley

John B. Harley, MD, PhD
Professor and Director
David Glass Endowed Chair
Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE)
Department of Pediatrics
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous work has shown that Epstein-Barr virus infection is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and studies of the origins of the autoimmune response have also suggested that the autoimmunity of this disease may originate with the immune response against this virus. In the meantime, many investigators have been studying the genetics of lupus over the past 25 years. They have found about 100 convincing genes that alter the risk of developing lupus.

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FDA Grants Fast Track Designation to Nintedanib for Scleroderma with Lung Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Thomas Leonard, Ph.D. Executive director, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Specialty Care Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Thomas Leonard

Dr. Thomas Leonard, Ph.D.
Executive director, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Specialty Care
Boehringer Ingelheim

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Would you briefly explain what is meant by systemic sclerosis? What are the disease symptoms and manifestations?

Response: The FDA recently granted Fast Track designation to nintedanib for the treatment of systemic sclerosis with interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) – paving the way for Boehringer Ingelheim to take an important step in advancing this potential therapy for those affected by this disease. The designation was based on Boehringer Ingelheim’s Investigational New Drug application (IND) and the anticipated efficacy and safety data from SENSCIS™ (Safety and Efficacy of Nintedanib in Systemic SClerosIS), a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled global Phase III trial which is fully enrolled and includes more than 520 patients from 32 countries.

The FDA’s Fast Track designation facilitates the development of new therapies that treat serious conditions and fulfill an unmet medical need in an effort to get treatments to those in need sooner, like those living with systemic sclerosis.

Systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, is a rare disease characterized by thickening and scarring of connective tissue of multiple organs in the body, typically affecting women between ages 25 and 55. Most people with the disease will develop some degree of lung scarring, or interstitial lung disease (ILD), which is the leading cause of death among people with systemic sclerosis.

Nintedanib, currently marketed as Ofev®, is approved for treatment of a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, and has been shown to slow disease progression as measured by annual rate of decline in lung function. Because SSc-ILD and IPF share similarities in how the underlying lung scarring, or fibrosis, forms in people with the disease, Boehringer Ingelheim is evaluating the impact of nintedanib on SSc-ILD.

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Tai Chi At Least As Beneficial As Standard Therapy For Fibromyalgia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“tai chi 11.4.09” by Luigi Scorcia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Chenchen Wang MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
Director, Center For Complementary And Integrative Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
Tufts Medical Center Boston, MA 02111 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Patients with chronic widespread pain often try many different types of pain medications, anti-depressants, physical therapy, and other approaches, and commonly find that none of these therapies work for them. Finding safe, effective approaches for pain management is an urgent priority. Previous evidence suggested that Tai Chi, a multi-dimensional mind-body practice that integrates physical, psychosocial, and behavioral elements, may be especially suited to address both chronic pain and associated psychological and somatic symptoms. In our most recent study published in the BMJ, we directly compared the effectiveness of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise, which is a standard care non-drug treatment for fibromyalgia. Continue reading

Knee Pain Improved After Bariatric Surgery For Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jonathan Samuels, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Rheumatology NYU Langone Health

Dr. Jonathan Samuels

Jonathan Samuels, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
NYU Langone Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

 Response: A high percentage of obese patients have painful knee osteoarthritis, and have difficulty losing weight as well as treating the knee pain with a self-perpetuating cycle.

 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response:  Patients who lost weight with their laparoscopic banding surgeries also experienced marked improvement of their knee pain. We found a significant correlation between the degree of improvement in the body mass index and reduction of knee pain in our cohort.

In addition, the patients who experienced the most relief from weight loss surgeries had their procedures at earlier ages, as well as those who never had a traumatic knee injury nor developed osteoarthritis in other joints.

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RNA-based Blood Test Can Detect Fibromyalgia

MedicalResearch.com interview with:

Dr. Chase Spurlock, PhD CEO, IQuity, Specialty Diagnostic Technologies Faculty, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Chase Spurlock

Dr. Chase Spurlock, PhD
CEO, 
IQuitySpecialty Diagnostic Technologies
Faculty, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Spurlock discusses IQuity’s release of IsolateFibromyalgia, the first RNA-based blood test to detect fibromyalgia.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this test? Would you briefly explain what fibromyalgia is, whom it affects and why it has been difficult to definitely diagnosis? 

Dr. Spurlock: We developed the IsolateFibromyalgia™ test using our established RNA assay platform, IQIsolate™, to help clinicians receive timely and accurate information. This technology has evolved from over a decade of research at Vanderbilt University and continues at IQuity funded by both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as private investors. We discovered that differences in RNA expression patterns could be detected in patients with a variety of human conditions spanning infection to more complex inflammatory diseases. With our focus on autoimmune disease, we identified and validated RNAs capable of distinguishing multiple sclerosis, IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and fibromyalgia syndrome. In the case of fibromyalgia, our research involved almost 600 subjects including healthy individuals, patients with endocrine conditions, dermatologic conditions and rheumatologic diseases — rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus. Reported sensitivity and specificity of this assay is 92 percent and 96 percent, respectively.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain often initially localized to the neck and shoulders. Patients typically describe pain throughout the muscles but may also report pain in the joints. Furthermore, fibromyalgia is usually accompanied by fatigue as well as cognitive disturbance. Patients most afflicted are women between ages 20 and 55. Fibromyalgia affects approximately as many as 6-10 million people in the U.S.

The difficulty in reaching a definitive diagnosis lies in two important issues. First, the cause of the syndrome is unknown, and the way the condition presents and progresses can vary among patients. Secondarily, fibromyalgia syndrome mimics many other conditions due to the multiple nonspecific symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Patients look well, there are no obvious abnormalities on physical examination other than tenderness, and laboratory and radiologic studies are normal. With no discernable abnormalities in routine clinical laboratory testing or imaging, the diagnosis is based on subjective reporting of symptoms.

The difficulties and complex nature of receiving a correct fibromyalgia diagnosis are apparent. Despite improved awareness among primary care clinicians, many continue to be uncomfortable with making this diagnosis. Fibromyalgia patients on average wait almost a year after experiencing symptoms before seeing a physician and end up visiting on average 3.7 different physicians before a diagnosis. The diagnostic journey can take years. IsolateFibromyalgia provides the clinician and patient actionable information with 94 percent accuracy.

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Global Initiative Highlights Inspirational Stories of People Living With Scleroderma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Donald Zoz, MD Senior Associate Director Clinical Development & Medical Affairs IPF/ILD Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Zoz

Donald Zoz, MD
Senior Associate Director
Clinical Development & Medical Affairs IPF/ILD
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this platform? Would you briefly explain what is meant by scleroderma? How does it affect a person’s skin and ability to function? Whom does this disease primarily affect? 

Response: “More Than Scleroderma™: The Inside Story” is Boehringer Ingelheim’s new global initiative highlighting real-life, inspirational stories of people living with the rare disease scleroderma. The new effort, created with support from the Scleroderma Foundation in the U.S., aims to raise awareness of the disease, dispel misperceptions and provide important resources to support and guide those on their journey with scleroderma. The initiative’s website http://www.morethanscleroderma.com/us/ features a powerful and inspiring collection of diverse photographs and video profiles of 10 people across the U.S. living with scleroderma and sharing their ‘inside story.’ Each tells their unique and moving experience with scleroderma through diagnosis to learning to live with the disease and manage it.

Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is a rare disease characterized by thickening and scarring of the skin, lungs and other organs. Scleroderma affects fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. and typically affects women in the prime of their lives, between the ages of 25 and 55 taking a marked toll just as they are building their careers and bearing the responsibility of caring for their family. Nearly all people with scleroderma (more than 90%) will develop some skin symptoms including skin thickening, tightened skin around the joints, small red spots on the face and hands and hard lumps on pressure points and joints. Most people with the disease will also develop some degree of lung scarring, or interstitial lung disease (ILD). When the disease’s signature thickening and scarring develops in vital organs, such as the lungs, there are potentially debilitating and life-threatening consequences.  Continue reading

Hand Osteoarthritis: Hydroxychloroquine No More Effective Than Placebo

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Sarah Kingsbury PhD
Osteoarthritis Strategic Lead
Deputy Section Head, Musculoskeletal Medicine and Imaging
Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine
University of Leeds

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Osteoarthritis of the hand is a painful and disabling condition, estimated to effect up to 31 per cent of people aged over 70. It can stop people from carrying out everyday activities and can limit their quality of life. The first-line pharmacological treatments for hand osteoarthritis, including paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are often not effective and are associated with side effects. Doctors have used hydroxychloroquine, an established treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, as an off-label alternative, supported by increasing evidence that inflammation is a factor in osteoarthritis. Until now, there has not been a large-scale study into whether using hydroxychloroquine works.

HERO was a 12 month randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, pragmatic trial, designed with a view to replicate anecdotal reports of hydroxychloroquine use in clinical practice, and  powered to detect a moderate effect equivalent to that for NSAIDs in this population. The study involved 248 patients at 13 NHS hospitals in England: all had the condition for at least 5 years, had changes to the joints in their hands consistent with osteoarthritis and reported moderate to severe pain on at least half of the days in the previous three months to the study commencing.

Participants were randomised 1:1 to either hydroxychloroquine or placebo and followed up at 3 monthly intervals for 12 months. The study found that patients initially reported a small reduction in the severity of pain before the improvement plateaued. However, a similar amount of change was seen in both the group receiving hydroxychloroquine medication and the group taking the placebo.

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Stem Cell Transplantation Offers Hope For Severe Scleroderma

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“Breastfeeding welcome here” by Newtown grafitti is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Picture of a female patient’s left arm, showing skin lesions caused by Scleroderma
Wikipedia image

Keith M. Sullivan, M.D.
James B. Wyngaarden Professor Of Medicine
Division of Cellular Therapy
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  • Scleroderma with internal organ involvement is a devastating  autoimmune disorder with considerable morbidity and high mortality which have not changed in 40 years of reporting. Effective new therapies are needed.
  • Despite 2 prior randomized trials showing benefit for reduced-intensity stem cell transplant vs. conventional cyclophosphamide immune suppression, clinical practice in the US did not change due in part due to concern about patient safety and durability of response (attached).
  • The current randomized trial compares 12 monthly infusions of cyclophosphamide with high-dose chemotherapy plus whole-body irradiation designed to wipe-out (myeloablate) the defective, self-reactive immune system and replace with the patients own stem cells which had been treated to remove self-reacting lymphocytes. This was the first study to test if myeloablative autologous could re-establish a normal functioning immune system in patients with scleroderma.

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No Mortality Benefit From Weight Gain in Rheumatoid Arthritis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jeffrey A. Sparks, M.D., M.M.Sc. Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Department of Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sparks

Jeffrey A. Sparks, M.D., M.M.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy
Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We compared women diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during follow-up in the Nurses’ Health Study and matched women without RA during the same index time period. Women with RA had higher mortality than women without RA. In both groups, those that had severe weight loss (>30 pounds), had the highest mortality after the early RA/index period. Weight gain in the early RA period was not associated with mortality for either group.

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Treatment With Tremfya® (Guselkumab) Improved Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms Through One Year

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR Professor of Medicine Division of Arthritis & Rheumatic Diseases Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) 

Dr. Deodhar

Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR
Professor of Medicine
Division of Arthritis & Rheumatic Diseases
Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics
Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo–controlled, multicenter trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of guselkumab (Tremfya®) compared with placebo in adults with active psoriatic arthritis, despite having received treatment with standard-of-care therapies, including anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha agents.

In an observed analysis presented at ACR 2017, more than 70 percent of patients receiving guselkumab achieved at least a 20 percent improvement in signs and symptoms of disease (ACR 20) at week 56.  Findings also showed that improvements in tender and swollen joints, skin clearance, pain and physical function, and patient-reported quality of life outcomes reported at week 24, were maintained through week 56 in patients receiving guselkumab maintenance therapy (subcutaneous injections every eight weeks).  Continue reading

African Americans Do Worse After Joint Replacements, But Only In Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Susan M. Goodman, MD Director of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center of Excellence Hospital for Special Surgery

Dr. Goodman

Susan M. Goodman, MD
Director of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center of Excellence
Hospital for Special Surgery 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have previously reported that African Americans who have poorer health outcomes, may be disproportionately impacted by community factors. For African Americans undergoing knee replacement, no difference in pain and function was seen compared to whites in communities with little poverty, while in poor communities, African Americans had poorer outcomes. We wondered if this was generally true or if this only applied to knee replacements.

We found similar results; African Americans in richer neighborhoods have comparable outcomes to whites, but as poverty increases- in this study measured as percent with Medicaid coverage- outcomes worsen in a step wise fashion.

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Oral Glucosamine Found No More Effective Than Placebo For Osteoarthritis Pain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jos Runhaar, PhD Erasmus MC Department of General Practice Rotterdam The Netherlands

Dr. Runhaar

Jos Runhaar, PhD
Erasmus MC
Department of General Practice
Rotterdam
The Netherlands 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Most international guidelines report an overall lack of efficacy of glucosamine for osteoarthrits. We however know that it is a very heterogeneous disease. Therefore, it is possible that there are certain subgroups of osteoarthritis patients that actually might have effect from glucosamine; for instance subgroups based on different pathologies underlying the clinical presentation, different co-morbidities, or different disease stages.

For investigating efficacy in subgroups large sample sizes are needed, and certain methodological techniques are necessary, to get a valid and robust answer. Several years ago, a group of renowned international osteoarthritis researchers started the OA Trial Bank especially for investigating these subgroup effects of osteoarthritis treatments and collect individual patient data of worldwide-performed intervention studies in osteoarthritis patients. When using the individual patient data of multiple studies, it brings us the large sample size and allows us to use the right methods. We do these subgroup analyses in the OA Trial Bank for many different interventions, not just for glucosamine. The subgroup analyses for glucosamine and for corticosteroid injections are published, the others are ongoing (for instance exercise, orthoses and topicals) or planned and still waiting for funding.

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Oral Treatment Option for RA Includes Tofacitinib (XELJANZ®) Plus Methotrexate

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Roy Fleischmann, MD MACR Medical Director Metroplex Clinical Research Center Clinical Professor of Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75231

Dr. Fleischmann

Roy Fleischmann, MD MACR
Medical Director
Metroplex Clinical Research Center
Clinical Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX 75231

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In the phase 3 studies of tofacitinib, it was noted that the clinical responses to tofacitinib monotherapy were higher than the responses to tofaciotinib plus MTX and that tofacitinib plus methotrexate had numerically higher clinical responses compared to adalimumab plus methotrexate. This study was a non-inferiority design which compared tofacitinib monotherapy to tofacitinib + MTX and to adalimumab +MTX and tofacitinib monotherapy to tofacitinib +MTX in MTX incomplete responders. It was found that tofacitinib + MTX is non-inferior to adalimumab + MTX (and vice versa) and neither was superior to the other. The results of tofacitinib to either combination was non-conclusive showing neither non-inferiority or inferiority, but suggesting that either combination will be effective in more patients in a group of patients.

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SIMPONI ARIA (golimumab) Improved Sleep and Pain in Ankylosing Spondylitis Trial

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR Professor of Medicine Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center Oregon Health & Science University 

Dr. Deodhar

Atul A. Deodhar, MD, MRCP, FACP, FACR
Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics
Medical Director, Immunology Infusion Center
Oregon Health & Science University 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The GO-ALIVE study (CNTO148AKS3001) is a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of golimumab, an anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody, administered intravenously (IV), in adult patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of golimumab 2 mg/kg in patients with active AS by assessing the reduction in signs and symptoms of AS. The secondary objectives include assessing efficacy related to improving physical function, range of motion, health-related quality of life, and other health outcomes.

A total of 208 patients who had a diagnosis of definite  ankylosing spondylitis (per modified New York criteria) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) ≥4, total back pain visual analogue scale (VAS) ≥4, and CRP ≥0.3 mg/dL were randomized.  Patients were treated with IV golimumab (n=105) at Weeks 0, 4, and every 8 weeks through Week 52 or placebo (n=103) at Weeks 0, 4, and 12, with crossover to IV golimumab at Week 16 and through Week 52.

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