A New Hope for Delaying Clinical Onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Early Intervention with Rituximab
Keywords:Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rituximab, B-Cell Directed Therapy, Biomarkers, Preclinical Intervention
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a highly prevalent autoimmune disease that affects 16 million people globally. It is caused by an inflammatory autoimmune response that results in swelling of the joints and chronic pain. While we know that RA operates via the immune system, the specific mechanisms of RA pathogenesis are not fully understood, making diagnosis and treatment options limited. Rituximab, a monoclonal CD20 antibody, is a current form of RA treatment that specifically targets autoreactive B-cells to help mitigate the symptoms of RA at the clinical stage. Gerlag et al. (2019) outline a preventative window of opportunity for preclinical RA intervention with rituximab and identified two predictive biomarkers through exploratory methods. Their findings demonstrate that early administration of rituximab during preclinical RA delays disease onset and impedes its progression. This timeframe for intervention offers a promising first step for future studies investigating RA mechanisms and early treatments.
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