This November, members of Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity presented several groundbreaking studies at the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR’s) annual meeting in Atlanta.
Traditionally, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has been considered a distinct condition from the types of arthritis seen in adults. But increasingly, research is showing that juvenile and adult forms of arthritis represent a continuum.
Beginning with methotrexate in the mid-1980s, clinical investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have led the development of a number of drugs for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Thanks to methotrexate and additional progress in the decades since it was approved, the majority of people with RA now experience effective disease management.
There are many challenges to treating autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Brigham and Women’s Hospital has recently undertaken a number of new initiatives to address some of these challenges and improve patient care.
RA-associated interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD) is one of the most common extra-articular manifestations of RA and is correlated with increased mortality. We recently performed a study investigating disease activity and RA-ILD risk using the Brigham RA Sequential Study (BRASS), which has followed more than 1,500 patients over time, some for up to 15 years, and has generated a wealth of clinical and biomarker data.
Patients with RA and OA all experience chronic pain, but safe options for analgesia are limited. While NSAIDs (selective and non-selective) are commonly used in rheumatology, they can cause major toxicity. Improving the risk/benefit ratio requires a more precise understanding of risk. This study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, was undertaken to derive and validate a risk score for major toxicity among NSAID users enrolled in a prior randomized controlled trial.
Cardiovascular (CV) disease is a major concern for patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. In a recent study, we examined disease‐modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatments and estimated the risk of a subsequent CV event among patients who experienced a first CV event and had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or psoriasis.
Bioinformatics methods are increasingly applied in clinical research studies to approach research questions from novel perspectives. For example, natural language processing (NLP) enables use of information previously embedded in narrative clinical notes. Leveraging experience from the past decade in developing and applying bioinformatics tools for clinical studies, the VERITY Bioinformatics Resource Core supports investigators who seek to apply these tools to their research in rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease.
Pediatric and adult rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases challenge the clinical researcher:
- They affect the population across the lifespan,
- They impact a broad range of patient-centered outcomes,
- They are rarely cured, and
- They often have multiple possible treatment strategies.