DNA methylation has been identified as a potential biomarker of response to etanercept and adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) according to preliminary results from one of the largest methylome-wide investigations of treatment response to anti-TNF therapies.1 These data, presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014), bring clinicians a step closer to being able to personalise a patient's treatment pathway.
Anti-TNF therapies have proved a huge advance for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and have transformed the treatment of inflammatory arthritis for millions of people around the world. However, only 20-40% of patients achieve a good response according to EULAR criteria.2
"It can take several years to identify the most effective treatment for an RA patient. This is not only costly in terms of the financial burden, but also in terms of patient outcomes and the irreversible joint damage that is being done," said Amy Webster, University of Manchester, United Kingdom. "Because of this, the identification of biomarkers that can predict a patient's response to a treatment is an important area of research which will allow the most effective treatment for each patient to be identified early in the course of the disease."
She continued, "Based on recent studies showing a role for epigenetics in RA and other autoimmune disorders, we hypothesised that epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, may provide potential biomarkers of response to anti-TNFs."
RA is a chronic systemic disease that affects the joints, connective tissues, muscle, tendons, and fibrous tissue. A disabling condition that often causes pain and deformity, symptoms of RA tend to appear between the ages of 20 and 40. The prevalence of RA globally varies between 0.3% and 1% and is more common in women and in developed countries. Within 10 years of onset, at least 50% of patients in developed countries are unab
|Contact: EULAR Press Office|
European League Against Rheumatism