From the issue, Living With Inflammatory Arthritis
Thanks to advances in inflammatory arthritis treatment, the market for therapies has become quite crowded, with more than two dozen available FDA-approved medications.
That's good news for patients, because their doctors have lots to choose from. Learn about the various treatment options and the latest research on new biologic arthritis therapies.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have transformed the landscape of care for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and arthritis due to other autoimmune diseases. These medications relieve inflammation and pain in people with inflammatory arthritis and, as their name implies, can actually change the course of the illness.
Biologic DMARDs may be used individually or in combination with a traditional DMARD for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis. They can be further classified by the proteins they target:
Research is continuing to identify new molecular pathways involved in inflammatory arthritis and to pinpoint possible targets for new therapies. In 2014, the National Institutes of Health established the multicenter Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus (AMP RA/Lupus) Network to identify and validate the most promising biological targets for the development of new drugs and diagnostics for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Insights gained from this effort, which includes researchers at HSS, may enhance the quality of life of patients and family members affected by these and other autoimmune diseases.
Many clinical trials are under way to assess innovative treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Here are some examples:
With all the medications available today for people with inflammatory arthritis, researchers are seeking ways to use precision medicine and predictive analytic methods to match each patient with the best treatments. For example, investigators are applying machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to analyze data from electronic health records to predict the course of an individual's disease, and correlate outcomes with medication use. The results of this research could lead to more refined guidelines for healthcare providers to ensure people with inflammatory arthritis receive the most effective therapies.
If you or someone you know is living with a chronic inflammatory condition, learn about the different patient support programs available at HSS.