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To stimulate collaborative efforts of federal funding agencies, voluntary health agencies, professional organizations and industry partners to enable creation of a large, sustainable database and repository to better understand the molecular basis of treatment and rapidly accelerate translational research in RA.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory arthritis, affecting ~1% of the US population. Severity of RA varies from mild synovitis to joint destruction with associated disability and increased mortality. Methotrexate (MTX) is the major drug used to treat RA and the anchor drug for clinical trials of investigational new drugs (INDs) in RA. Eight biologic agents are currently FDA-approved for RA. No drug is effective in every patient, and there is great variability in toxicity and price.
The use of concomitant MTX and biologic agents has dramatically improved the outcomes of RA treatment in the US. This proposal is based on the premise the next major advance needed in the treatment of RA is not additional drugs, but rather a dramatic improvement in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the use of drugs for individual patients with RA. One of the hopes for modern medicine is the realization of "personalized" medicine, which allows accurate, quick prediction of which drug will be the most efficacious, least toxic, and least expensive for an individual patient.
One of the major obstacles to identifying clinically useful markers of treatment response in RA is the lack of cohorts with prospectively collected treatment response data coupled with biological samples. Because of the importance of this issue and the paucity of funding for such efforts, multiple efforts to establish single institution (using institutional funds) or multisite cohorts and repositories (typically dependent on private practitioners and pharmaceutical company support) are planned. To date, there has been no attempt to harmonize the efforts of the US academic RA research community to create a public resource.
Recognizing that building de novo cohorts within a short time frame is not feasible, our current proposal will fill a critical need: establishing an infrastructure of academic investigators to lay the foundation for future collaborative large-scale registries; and uniting the efforts of many organizations with the common goal of improving care of RA patients. This project will facilitate future research that will result in significant, publicly visible improvements in health care. Identifying predictors of treatment response in RA will lead to rapid, early institution of optimal drugs rather than a "hit or miss" sequential approach; reduce adverse events; improve patient compliance; and lead to substantial reduction in the cost of health care. By unifying the efforts of academic researchers, we can create unique resources, such as a bank of cryopreserved blood cells to allow sophisticated immunologic research to dissect molecular signals of successful treatment of RA.
In order to determine the feasibility of this infrastructure for prospectively collecting data and samples we will enroll a small number of participants (10/site/year for each of 2 years, for a total of 200 participants).
Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:15:50-0400
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