Over the past ten years, advances in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis have made a dramatic difference in the lives of people with this disease. However, there is still much to be done.
Extensive research indicates that the earlier appropriate treatment for inflammatory arthritis begins, the less the ultimate disability.
People treated at the Inflammatory Arthritis Center may be entered into the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Cohort. By joining the RA Cohort, patients are made aware of RA research studies or projects that are either underway or in the planning stages in the IAC and can request information about studies that are of interest to them. Patients are updated on a regular basis about studies and also about education programs. Patients also have the opportunity to learn about research studies they may be eligible for.
Physicians and researchers use the anonymized information in the RA cohort to better describe their RA patient population, and to identify potential subjects appropriate for IAC research projects
The aim of the research coordinated by health care professionals in the Inflammatory Arthritis Center is to expand the understanding of how and why inflammatory arthritis develops and to improve patient care. Highlights of some of the ongoing research by Inflammatory Arthritis Center:
Vivian Bykerk MD, Director of the Inflammatory Arthritis Center, is the principle investigator of CATCH-US, a multicenter observational study of usual care of patients diagnosed as “early rheumatoid arthritis” or ERA. The goal of the CATCH-US study is to better understand predictors of treatment response in ERA patients. The multicenter study is set to begin shortly at HSS and two other sites; expansion to at least 6 other sites across the country is scheduled for the new year.
Susan Goodman MD, Medical Chief of the Combined Arthritis Program (CAP) of the Surgical Arthritis Service is the principal investigator of a study of RA patients undergoing joint replacement (arthroplasty). Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have poorer outcomes after arthroplasty, which may be due to disease “flare” or worsening of disease in the perioperative period.
For this study, Dr. Goodman and collaborators are looking at patients with RA undergoing either total hip or total knee replacement to determine the rate of post-op flare, the relationship of flare to periop medication withdrawal, and the relationship between post-operative disease flare and arthroplasty outcomes. Additionally, they are exploiting the pre-op withdrawal of RA medications to gather a repository of well-characterized RA patients for study in collaboration with HSS scientists.
The HSS Early Arthritis Initiative connects patients quickly and efficiently with a rheumatologist who can evaluate their joint pain and get each patient started on an appropriate course of treatment.