Madrid, Spain, 12 June 2013: Data presented at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, show that novel antibody biomarkers could significantly improve diagnosis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Four candidate biomarkers - UH-RA.1, UH-RA.9, UH-RA.14 and UH-RA.21 - were investigated; as a group they demonstrated 85% specificity for RA, and were present in both early and seronegative disease, with 36% of early RA and 24% of RF- and ACCP -negative patients testing positive.
RA is a chronic autoimmune disease characterised by inflammation of the joints and tendons. As the disease progresses it can cause pain, stiffness, joint destruction and deformity, and reduce quality of life, life expectancy and physical function.
"Early detection is imperative; if treated early, patients have a more than 50% chance of achieving remission3 - yet one third of patients test negative to RF and ACCP. Antibody reactivity against our candidate biomarkers in both early and seronegative RA patients implies that they could significantly help to improve diagnosis and patient outcomes," said lead author of the study Liesbeth M De Winter, Biomedical Research Institute, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium.
Antibody reactivity was measured in a cohort of 127 RA patients, 97 healthy controls, 90 rheumatic controls (including psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis and Sjögren's syndrome patients) and a validation cohort of 165 RA patients. Amongst the 292 RA patients, 34% could not be identified using the current diagnostic biomarkers RF and ACCP.
"These data show that our candidates, in combination with existing biomarkers, could help close the diagnostic gap in RA. In addition, significant associations with inflammatory factors and the presence of erosions indicate a tangible prognostic potential," De Winter concluded.
1.De Winter L et al., New autoantibodies as biomarkers for early and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis [abstract]. EULAR Annual European Congress of Rheumatology; 12-15 June 2013; Madrid, Spain. Abstract nr. OP0181
2.Somers K. Novel autoantibody markers for early and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmun. 2011;36(1):33-46
3.Morelli J . New treatment approach shows sustained remission is possible with RA. 2013. Available from: arthritistoday.org . Last accessed: May 2013
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For further information on this study, or to request an interview with the study lead, please do not hesitate to contact the EULAR congress Press Office in room A10:14 of the Congress Centre during EULAR 2013 or on:
EULAR Press Office
Onsite tel: +44 (0) 20 7331 5364 / 5380 / 5318 / 2305
- The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) is an umbrella organisation which represents scientific societies, health professional associations and organisations of people with rheumatic diseases throughout Europe
- In line with the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), EULAR defines rheumatology as including rheumatic diseases of the connective tissue, locomotor and musculoskeletal systems.
- EULAR aims to promote, stimulate and support the research, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of rheumatic diseases
- With 45 scientific member societies, 36 People with Arthritis and Rheumatism in Europe (PARE) organisations and 11 health professionals associations, EULAR underscores the importance of combating rheumatic diseases not only through medical means, but also through patient care
- EULAR 2013 is set to be the biggest rheumatology event in Europe with over 14,000 scientists, physicians, allied health professionals and related audiences in attendance from more than 110 countries. Over the course of the congress there will be more than 320 oral and 1,800 poster abstract presentations, and 750 lectures with 330 invited speakers
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