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Heterogeneity still major challenge in connective tissue diseases

DESTIN, Fla. — Among the chief challenges in treating many connective tissue diseases is the significant amount of heterogeneity, particularly in systemic lupus erythematosus, according Judith A. James, MD, PhD, of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

“I think as rheumatologists, we are always looking for what is new for our patients, what is new for our practice, how can we be better for our patients, and I think that biomarkers have been a mainstay,” James, who is also an associate vice provost for clinical and translational science at the Oklahoma University Health Science Center, told Healio Rheumatology. “We’ve started with autoantibodies, with uric acid levels, we’ve moved to some of the newer biologic markers with inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and algorithms helping us identify patients for prognostic factors.”

According to James, the “next generation” of biomarkers could be wearable technology, which many patients are already including in their daily lives. These technologies are helping to monitor and collect data on patients’ physical activity, sleep patterns, heart rate variability, and may potentially be used to track disease activity.

“Perhaps the next generation — or, I said, ‘Not your mother’s biomarkers’ — will be wearables, and implementing this into how we monitor our patients’ disease activity and, ideally, improve outcomes,” she said.

Reference:

James JA. Biomarkers in connective tissue disease. Presented at: Congress of Clinical Rheumatology; May 2-5, 2019; Destin, Fla.

Disclosures : James reports professional relationships with AbbVie, Janssen, PeerView, Progentec Biosciences.

DESTIN, Fla. — Among the chief challenges in treating many connective tissue diseases is the significant amount of heterogeneity, particularly in systemic lupus erythematosus, according Judith A. James, MD, PhD, of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

“I think as rheumatologists, we are always looking for what is new for our patients, what is new for our practice, how can we be better for our patients, and I think that biomarkers have been a mainstay,” James, who is also an associate vice provost for clinical and translational science at the Oklahoma University Health Science Center, told Healio Rheumatology. “We’ve started with autoantibodies, with uric acid levels, we’ve moved to some of the newer biologic markers with inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and algorithms helping us identify patients for prognostic factors.”

According to James, the “next generation” of biomarkers could be wearable technology, which many patients are already including in their daily lives. These technologies are helping to monitor and collect data on patients’ physical activity, sleep patterns, heart rate variability, and may potentially be used to track disease activity.

“Perhaps the next generation — or, I said, ‘Not your mother’s biomarkers’ — will be wearables, and implementing this into how we monitor our patients’ disease activity and, ideally, improve outcomes,” she said.

Reference:

James JA. Biomarkers in connective tissue disease. Presented at: Congress of Clinical Rheumatology; May 2-5, 2019; Destin, Fla.

Disclosures : James reports professional relationships with AbbVie, Janssen, PeerView, Progentec Biosciences.

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