Blood Test Predicts TNF Inhibitor Response in RA Patients

Medscape—November 16, 2014

A blood test that measures the ratio of interferon (IFN)-beta to IFN-alpha in patients with rheumatoid arthritis can help predict who will respond to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, according to a new study. The study results were presented at the American College of Rheumatology 2014 Annual Meeting in Boston.

A "Shotgun" Approach

The reality today is that rheumatologists do not have the equivalent of an antibiogram — which infectious disease physicians have — so that they can tell which antibiotic is going to work in a given infection, said Stephen Paget, MD, from Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

"This means that we have to take a 'shotgun' approach and wait 2 to 3 months to see if these medications are going to work," he told Medscape Medical News. "And if they don't work, we put patients on another medicine."

Read full article: Medscape.

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