American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting
American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting
November 06, 2015
2 min read

Upcoming ACR conference highlights advances in all fields in rheumatology

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The American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in San Francisco begins on Nov. 7, and Healio Rheumatology will cover the event and its many topics — ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to spondyloarthropathies, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, vasculitis, fibromyalgia, juvenile arthritis and much more— throughout the week.

“I always recommend attendees come to the Opening Lecture on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.,” American College of Rheumatology (ACR) President E. William St. Clair, MD, suggested in an email. “Our speaker this year is Daphne Koller, PhD, and her topic is ‘Education at Scare: Beyond an Experiment.’ Not only will attendees receive valuable information about changes in rheumatology education, but it’s a networking event that shouldn’t be missed.”

The conference offers 5 days of scientific sessions, CME opportunities, poster sessions, industry presentations and networking functions.

The clinical track sessions this year include new data about the use of mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of interstitial lung disease in patients with systemic sclerosis, up-to-date information about maintenance therapy for patients with vasculitis and insight into the microbiome and how the gut bacteria may influence the immune system in people with rheumatic disease, St. Clair told

Among other highlights, St. Clair said a session titled “Coming to a Joint Near You: Chikungunya” will provide diagnostic and treatment insights on a virus he said has gained interest in the field of rheumatology recently.

According to the ACR website, other highlights in scientific sessions include:

“The Great Debate: Long-term, Low-dose Corticosteroid Use in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. should offer some great perspectives for attendees to consider on a somewhat controversial topic,” St. Clair offered.

“New Tools in Genomic Discovery” is about emerging technologies that allow rheumatology researchers to sequence and analyze genetic data in new ways to more accurately interpret rheumatic diseases and symptoms.

“Function of Non-Coding RNA” will explore new data about RNA involved in gene expression but do not make proteins, which may inform the development of new therapies.

“T-Cell-Based Treatments” is a discussion of the development of new immunotherapies for cancer and the potential to adapt the strategies to treat autoimmune diseases.

“Fibrosis and New Therapeutic Approaches” will provide data on new, targeted therapies to treat fibrosis in scleroderma and other diseases.

“Osteoimmunology” will explore the close interaction between bone cells and immune cells that play an important role in many rheumatic diseases.

The Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), a division of the ACR, will present several business and practice management sessions. According to its website, highlights include:

“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ): Conversations in Care,” is described as a discussion by clinicians on how to have conversations with LGBTQ patients about their care.

“Pediatric Lupus Transitional Care: An Interactive Experience,” which will provide tools to help pediatric lupus patients as they move to adult rheumatology practices.

“Immunology Boot Camp,” three sessions on introductory, intermediate and advanced immunology that has returned at the request of members.

Attendance is expected to reach around 15,000 guests at the Marcone Center.