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    Science Saturday: Genetic testing for earlier diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

close-up of hands with rheumatoid arthritis
If you are one of the estimated 1.5 million Americans who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you know about the painful, swollen and stiff joints that are common symptoms of this chronic inflammatory disorder. Mayo Clinic has been a leader in discovering biomarkers – indicators of health and disease – that link rheumatoid arthritis to the bacteria in your gut. The July 2017 edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings highlights research into an individualized approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Carla Wijbrandts, M.D., Ph.D., University of Amsterdam, and Paul-Peter Tak, M.D.,  Ph.D., Cambridge University, authors of the paper Prediction of Response to Targeted Treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritisprovide an overview of research underway to identify biological and genetic variations that can help predict which patients will respond well to each available therapy, especially newly developed biological agents. The authors also provide suggested clinical guidelines for using genetic testing to guide treatment, a framework they note will need to be modified as clinical trials currently underway are completed.

According to Eric Matteson, M.D., professor of Medicine and consultant in the Department of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota, a personalized approach is improving care for many patients. Read the rest of this article on Advancing the Science.


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