Researchers, including study lead Sabina Sandigursky, MD of the NYU School of Medicine, are exploring the potential to use immune checkpoint inhibitors in rheumatoid arthritis patients. 

The Rheumatology Network reports that a small study recently showcased at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting revealed that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with immunotherapy fared as well as a comparable patient population with 12 to 22 patients experiencing flares.

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Representing a powerful breakthrough for some cancers, the concept hasn’t been developed nearly as much with rheumatology patients. These patients were, for the most part, precluded from immunotherapy clinical trials due to fundamental fear of increasing toxicity. Although some physicians have given rheumatoid arthritis patients with immune checkpoint inhibitors, little data exists to help investigators understand risk of toxicity and disease flares, reports the Rheumatology Network.

The Study

The NYU School of Medicine sought to change this reality. Dr. Sandigursky and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 22 rheumatoid arthritis patients (16 female, median age 67) from a single hospital. Over a seven-year research period—from 2011 to 2018—the patients were treated with anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Lead Research/Investigator

Sabina Sandigursky, MD of the NYU School of Medicine

Call to Action: Follow the link below to follow the rest of the story.  The study results raise an interesting question as to the potential for immune checkpoint inhibitor usage in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Source: Rheumatology Network

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