Personalized RA Treatment?
“Going forward,” says Dr. Lood, “we hope to recruit a large cohort of roughly 1,000 patients to validate these results. Ideally, this would be an international collaboration of patients from diverse backgrounds. We are also working with pharmaceutical companies to determine the utility of the neutrophil biomarkers in prediction of treatment responses, helping ensure that patients get adequate treatment without unnecessary side effects. This is getting us closer to personalized medicine.”
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Dr. Lood stresses that “more national attention is needed to determine how we can use this information to help patients. Even in established patients we see that this marker tracks well with disease activity, so it definitely has value for many patients.”
In addition, Dr. Lood says, “We are working with a diagnostic company, Exagen, to further our understanding of the clinical utility of neutrophil biomarkers in rheumatic diseases, as well as develop assays for clinical use.
“By combining existing panels with this neutrophil marker, we will have a much better ability to identify patients at high risk of the most devastating forms of RA. In addition, such an approach provides us with an opportunity to stratify patients for clinical trials, treatment and disease monitoring,” Dr. Lood concludes.
Elizabeth Hofheinz, MPH, MEd, is a freelance medical editor and writer based in the greater New Orleans area.
- Bach M, Moon J, Moore R, et al. A neutrophil activation biomarker panel in prognosis and monitoring of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Jan:72(1):47–56.