Continuing the ARHP 2009 Audioconference/Webcast series, Daniel F. Battafarano, DO, FACP, FACR, will discuss the use of biologic therapy in the treatment of rheumatology patients on February 10 from noon to 1:00 pm ET. During the session, Dr. Battafarano will review basic immunology, inflammation, and relevant cytokines for common rheumatic diseases. In addition, he will describe the current biologic therapies and their relationship to rheumatic disease outcomes, and identify future biologic strategies for therapy.
Dr. Battafarano is currently employed as chief of the division of rheumatology at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, since retiring in 2004 from active duty service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. Most recently, Dr. Battafarano prepared an online training basic science module for the ACR/ARHP Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Postgraduate Rheumatology Training Program, reviewing musculoskeletal structure and function, inflammation, and immunology.
Biologics have become a more common therapy in the treatment of rheumatic disease, and Dr. Battafarano suggests healthcare professionals become familiar with the potential side effects of these medications—or at least consider unusual side effects patients on biologic therapies might experience.
“The efficacy of biologic therapy and the treatment of rheumatic disease over the last 10 years have been profound,” explains Dr. Battafarano. “It is important for healthcare professionals to be knowledgeable about biologic therapy for patients with rheumatic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis, since it has dramatically affected joint pain and swelling, slowed or stopped radiographic disease progression, and has improved quality of life.”
Additionally, Dr. Battafarano believes that it is important for healthcare professionals to be aware of what comes with this therapy, saying “biologic therapy has become state-of-the-art treatment for these rheumatic diseases, and healthcare professionals need to be very familiar with common side effects and unusual side effects, like tuberculosis.”
Despite the fact that these medications are expensive, Dr. Battafarano believes that it is becoming well accepted that biologic therapy is cost effective not only for individual patients but for the community as a whole. Patients treated with these medications feel better and most can subsequently stay in the workforce and contribute to society and to the economy.
To register for the February 10 audioconference/webcast, contact Sharon Ross at (404) 633-3777, ext. 802 or visit www.rheumatology.org/arhp.