New rheumatoid arthritis treatment shown to be effective: Half of all patients symptom-free within six months

December 11, 2012, University of Twente

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the joints. A rapid suppression of inflammation is important for a good prognosis. Marloes Vermeer, a PhD student at the University of Twente, investigated the effects of a "Treat-to-Target treatment strategy". Ms Vermeer explains that "The new treatment appears to be feasible in daily clinical practice. Even after a period of three years, disease activity is more effectively suppressed than with conventional treatment."

Marloes Vermeer's results show that the Treat-to-Target (T2T) treatment, which is used in new rheumatoid arthritis patients, can rapidly suppress the disease in more than 55 percent of patients. This is in contrast to the use of the conventional treatment in new patients, for which the corresponding figure is 30 percent. Marloes points out that "In many patients, even after three years, T2T treatment was associated with improved physical functioning, little joint damage, and a better quality of life. In addition, the treatment is cost effective. I hope that every hospital in the Netherlands involved in treating new rheumatoid arthritis patients will use this method."

Dream

The Arthritis Center Twente (part of Medisch Spectrum Twente) launched this new for rheumatoid arthritis in 2006. Since then, a number of hospitals have become involved and all of the partners are now working on the Dutch Rheumatoid Arthritis Monitoring (DREAM) remission induction cohort. The purpose of this project is to investigate the effects of the implementation of T2T. The DREAM cohort database now contains data on more than 700 patients.

T2T treatment

T2T treatment involves regular and frequent measurements of disease activity in patients. These measurements include and clinical examinations. A score obtained by assessing 28 joints indicates the level of disease activity. If this score exceeds a given value, the medication is immediately adjusted according to a predefined medication protocol. The goal of this treatment is to totally suppress the disease (remission) as quickly as possible. This continues until the patient is symptom-free.

Explore further: Bring the feet when diagnosing, treating rheumatoid arthritis

Related Stories

Bring the feet when diagnosing, treating rheumatoid arthritis

December 7, 2011
When diagnosing and treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), clinical research focuses primarily on the joints in the upper body. However, research carried out by rheumatologist Hetty Baan at the University of Twente ...

ACR endorses standardized measures to determine rheumatoid arthritis disease activity

April 2, 2012
A working group convened by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has evaluated more than 60 disease activity measures for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The group narrowed the number of RA disease activity measures and ...

Recommended for you

Osteoarthritis could be treated as two diseases, scientists reveal

January 10, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered that most people with osteoarthritis can be subdivided into two distinct disease groups, with implications for diagnosis and drug development.

US arthritis prevalence is much higher than current estimates

November 27, 2017
New research indicates that the prevalence of arthritis in the United States has been substantially underestimated, especially among adults

Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

November 20, 2017
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered.

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy

November 16, 2017
In the quest for a new and more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC looked to a primate that mostly roams the land in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was ...

Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression

November 8, 2017
A list of food items with proven beneficial effects on the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is provided in a new study published today in Frontiers in Nutrition. The authors suggest incorporating these foods ...

Prototype equipment can detect rheumatoid arthritis

September 28, 2017
According to a first clinical study published in the scientific journal Photoacoustics, the University of Twente and various European partners have designed a device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.