Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Rheumatology / 16.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ellen M. Gravallese M.D. President, American College of Rheumatology Dr. Gravallese discusses the recent guidance document issued by ACR for the treatment of rheumatic disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? Are patients with rheumatic disease at greater risk of severe illness or death from the SARS-CoV-2 virus?  Response: This week the ACR issued a guidance document that is the product of the ACR’s Clinical Guidance Task Force, a newly appointed task force that includes experts in infectious disease, as well as experts in biologic and non-biologic rheumatic disease therapies. This clinical guidance document was prepared to assist rheumatology professionals in the care of their patients during this novel pandemic, and to advise as to how to handle rheumatic disease therapies. There is no data to suggest that patients with rheumatic disease are at greater risk of severe illness or death simply because they have a rheumatic disease. Rheumatic disease patients appear to be at risk for poor outcomes if they become infected primarily because of general risk factors such as older age or comorbid medical conditions, such as significant heart or lung disease. A global alliance has been created by the rheumatology community that has developed an international case-reporting registry to collect information pertinent to COVID-19 infection in patients with rheumatic disease. The ACR has played an active role in helping the Alliance get their message out to the rheumatology community, and we continue to support the Alliance with its data dissemination and communication efforts. We hope this registry will provide valuable data to address additional questions about the best way to manage rheumatology patients affected by COVID-19 and we encourage providers to submit their COVID-19-related cases to the Alliance website at www.rheum-covid.org. (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology / 22.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jianmin Fang, Ph.D. Founder, CEO & CSO RemeGen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), known more commonly as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. SLE can affect tissues like the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs, resulting in a wide variety of signs and symptoms. With limited treatment options for lupus and the significant unmet medical needs in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, the Phase 2b study evaluated the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous RC18 (telitacicept), a potential new medicine for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) versus a placebo in combination with standard therapy in patients with SLE at 48 weeks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology / 14.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin Nowell, Ph.D. Director of Patient-Centered Research CreakyJoints, Principal Investigator of ArthritisPower  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are important indicators of treatment effectiveness, but little is known about which PRO measures that patients find the most important to track for their disease management and to evaluate treatment effectiveness and health outcomes. In this study, we used the ArthritisPower Research Registry to evaluate which PROs patients with rheumatological conditions voluntarily selected to understand their experience of disease.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, Rheumatology / 13.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Natalie McCormick, Ph.D. Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Clinical Epidemiology Program Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Arthritis Research Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) have improved the health and productivity of many people living with moderate-to-severe inflammatory rheumatic diseases. They are also among the highest-spend drugs in the USA, with substantial out-of-pocket costs that pose barriers to treatment initiation and adherence. To understand the drivers of ongoing bDMARD spending growth, and effective ways of containing costs, we analysed drug spending data for all bDMARD claims in Medicare Part D, Part B fee-for-service, and Medicaid over 2012 to 2016, isolating the impact of changes in drug prices from changes in utilisation.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Rheumatology / 12.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raveendhara R. Bannuru MD, PhD, FAGE Director, Center for Treatment Comparison and Integrative Analysis (CTCIA) Deputy Director, Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CCIM) Asst Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine Asst Professor of Clinical & Translational Science, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Division of Rheumatology, Tufts Medical Center Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Given the current controversy regarding the use of opioids in chronic pain, we wanted to delve deeper into the efficacy and safety profiles of oral opioid drugs in osteoarthritis patients. Temporal assessments like ours can reveal peak periods of efficacy, and can provide clinicians with a blueprint for optimal durations of treatment regimens. With respect to subgroup analyses based on strength of opioid binding affinity, we sought to explore currently held paradigms that strong opioids may be useful for the treatment of severe pain, and to specifically assess their relevance in OA populations. Knowledge of the relative efficacy and safety profiles of strong versus weak opioids can give clinicians the information they need to weigh benefits and harms of specific subgroups of opioids. (more…)
Author Interviews, Rheumatology / 11.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelly Gavigan, MPH Manager, Research and Data Science CreakyJoints  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past fifteen years, there have been significant improvements in quality of life among people living with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease with the introduction of biologics and targeted therapies. However, despite a variety of treatments to try, patients often seek non-pharmacological alternative and complementary treatments, such as marijuana for medical use (MMU), to help manage their condition and symptoms. MMU is becoming increasingly available in the United States as different states legalize it under specific circumstances. Legal or not, according to a survey conducted by CreakyJoints using the ArthritisPower Research Registry (n=1,059 participants), people with arthritis are trying marijuana for medical use.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Pain Research, Rheumatology / 11.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Féline PB Kroon MD Department of Rheumatology Leiden University Medical Centre LUMC · MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hand osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent joint condition that causes pain, functional disability, and decreased quality of life, for which patients frequently consult health-care providers. Symptoms usually fluctuate over time, with episodes of joint swelling and erythema. Evidence from previous studies has shown that inflammation plays an important role in the disease, being an important predictor for pain and radiographic damage progression. Therefore, we hypothesized that inflammation could be a treatment target in OA, and we investigated this using prednisolone, a potent anti-inflammatory drug. The aim of the HOPE study was to investigate the clinical efficacy and safety of a six-week course of prednisolone 10 mg daily in patients with painful hand OA who had evidence of synovial inflammation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bristol Myers Squibb, Rheumatology, Smoking / 24.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pr Gilles Boire, M.D., M. ScService de rhumatologie Département de médecine Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé Université de Sherbrooke MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are heterogeneous at initial presentation, in response to treatments and according to their outcomes. No clinical features and very few biomarkers, except autoantibodies such as anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptides/Proteins (CCP), identify patients with divergent prognostic trajectories. To help improve early prognostic classification, we initiated 20 years ago the single center longitudinal observational Early Undifferentiated PolyArthritis (EUPA) study of consecutive patients presenting with recent-onset inflammatory polyarthritis, 90% of which fulfill classification criteria for RA at baseline. Our registry includes 739 very early RA patients (median symptom duration 3.6 months), rapidly treated to joint remission (i.e. 0/66 swollen joint) and followed over 5 years. Each patient visit is linked to biosamples and to sequential radiographs scored according to the modified Sharp/van der Heijde method. As we had the clinical impression that clinical features of recruited patients were evolving, we compared patients from 3 periods (1998-2004; 2005-2010; 2011-2017).  (more…)