Association between IL-6 production in synovial explants from rheumatoid arthritis patients and clinical and imaging response to biologic treatment: A pilot study

Martin Andersen, Mikael Boesen, Karen Ellegaard, Kalle Söderström, Niels H. Søe, Pieter Spee, Ulrik G. W. Mørch, Søren Torp-Pedersen, Else M. Bartels, Bente Danneskiold-Samsøe, Lars Karlsson, Henning Bliddal

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The use of biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) significantly changed the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however only 15 percent of these patients ever achieve remission. Thus, predicting patient responses to treatment and achieving disease control remains great challenges in RA. One possible solution put forth by the authors is the use of explants, in vitro culturing, of synovial tissue. This study examined the effects of bDMARDs on baseline RA synovial explants production of IL-6 with each individual’s clinical response to the same bDMARDs.

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Lower serum IgA is associated with COPD exacerbation risk in SPIROMICS

Nirupama Putcha, Gabriel G. Paul, Antoine Azar, Robert A. Wise, Wanda K. O’Neal, Mark T. Dransfield, Prescott G. Woodruff, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Alejandro P. Comellas, M. Bradley Drummond, Allison A. Lambert, Laura M. Paulin, Ashraf Fawzy, Richard E. Kanner, Robert Paine, III, MeiLan K. Han, Fernando J. Martinez, Russell P. Bowler, R. Graham Barr, Nadia N. Hansel, for the SPIROMICS investigators

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death, not just in the US but also worldwide. Patients with COPD are at increased risk for various respiratory infections, which are main contributors to COPD exacerbations. Selective IgA deficiency is associated with higher risk of respiratory infections, however, a link between serum IgA levels and COPD disease activity has never been established. The goal of this study is to test the hypothesis that sub serum IgA levels is associated with increased morbidity in COPD patients, using participants from the SPIROMICS cohort. Serum was collected at enrollment, and IgA levels were measured using the Myriad RBM biomarker discovery platform. Deficient IgA was defined as <7mg/dL and subnormal level defined as ≤70mg/dL. Follow-up was conducted yearly at the clinic and quarterly by phone for up to 3 years.

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S100A12 and S100A8/9 Proteins are Biomarkers of Articular Disease Activity in Blau Syndrome

Lin Wang, Carlos D. Rosé, Kevin P. Foley, Jordi Anton, Brigitte Bader-Meunier, Philippe Brissaud, Gaelle Chédeville, Rolando Cimaz, Jorge Fernández-Martin, Catherin Guly, Eric Hachulla, Miroslav Harjacek, Friederike Mackensen, Rosa Merino, Consuelo Modesto, Antonio Naranjo Hernández, Christine Pajot, Athimalaipet V. Ramanan, Akaluck Thatayatikom, Caroline Thomée, Sebastiaan Vastert, Bart J. Votta, John Bertin, and Carin H. Wouters.

Rheumatology 2018
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Blau syndrome is an inherited auto-inflammatory disease that is characterized by arthritis, dermatitis, and uveitis. Patients also experience the presence of non-caseating granulomas, suggesting that the disease pathogenesis involves activated macrophages. The current management of Blau disease, using familiar drug classes such as corticosteroids, DMARDS and biologics, is not adequate. In order to assist in future drug development studies, biomarkers for Blau disease activity will be extremely useful. Phagocyte specific S100 proteins, such as S100A12, S100A8, and S100A9, have been proposed as biomarkers for Blau syndrome. These proteins are secreted by neutrophils and macrophages upon activation. This prospective cohort study will aim to correlate disease activity with inflammatory and S100 proteins.

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Phase I Clinical Results from FR104, a mAb Specific to CD28

Researchers led by Bernard Vanove of OSE Immunotherapeutics report in the December 7, 2016 issue of the Journal of Immunology on the first-in-human study of FR1041. OSE and collaborators at the University of Nantes and Janssen conducted a detailed phase I evaluation of safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and potency of FR104 in healthy volunteers.

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Blood-based biomarkers show promise as an early diagnostic tool for RA-ILD

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School demonstrate the utility of a blood-based panel for identifying Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients. The comorbidity of RA-ILD is prevalent and is associated with negative patient outcomes: ILD is the second leading cause of death in patients with RA. When combined with existing clinical risk factors, the biomarker panel (MMP7, PARC and SP-D) has considerable potential as an early diagnostic, which could improve clinical outcomes in patients with RA-ILD.

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Urinary Biomarkers of Lupus Nephritis

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio State University, and Johns Hopkins have identified several biomarkers of early kidney damage in patients suffering from lupus. Various combinations of the markers, including neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), along with more traditional kidney markers, were able to accurately predict renal biopsy scores and disease outcome. Using these markers to measure clinical endpoints offers hope for noninvasive methods of monitoring the progression of lupus nephritis.

A Multi-biomarker Panel Proves Useful to Screen for Rheumatoid Arthritis

A new study in the journal Arthritis Care and Research demonstrates that the levels of 12 serum biomarkers can be measured and combined, using an algorithm, to assess a patient’s rheumatoid arthritis disease activity. Researchers found that their newly developed objective metric, the composite multi-biomarker disease activity (MBDA) score, was significantly associated with the common disease activity measurements currently in use, such as the Disease Activity Score that evaluates the inflammation of 28 joints. These data offer promise that the MBDA may be useful as a clinical tool to help physicians diagnose and monitor the progression of the disease and possibly a predictor of future joint damage.