American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting Day 3

Highlights of ACR 2015, Day Three – A Focus on New Research

The news and excitement continue to pour out of the ACR Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Day 3 of ACR 2015 was highlighted by compelling details on the latest research around arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Check out some of the highlights of those findings below!

Spotlight on Gout

Gout enjoyed a moment in the spotlight: New Zealand’s Dr. Lisa Sparks was on hand to speak about the need for better studies of neutraceuticals — like tart cherry, omega 3 fatty acids, turmeric and vitamin C — for gout. Patients are asking about them, she says, so doctors need to know how to respond. Will treat-to-target become a goal in gout as it is in RA? Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Brian Mandell says there are many good reasons to target getting serum uric acid down to around 6 mg/dL. And UCLA’s Dr. John FitzGerald gave the audience a tour of the drugs in development — one of which could get approved in the near future.

New Arthritis Medications

On the subject of medications, attendees to the late-breaking abstract session heard about one new drug getting good results for RA, and one existing drug being put to new use to treat giant cell arteritis.  We will have to wait for the FDA to make their move.

The Importance of Getting Active

But it’s not all about the medications. Patricia Katz at UCSF advises patients to snap on a pedometer! It can help you move more which in turn will improve fatigue, according to her study. And Monique

Gignac from the University of Toronto says easy workplace modifications can help many baby boomers with arthritis stay in the game, especially since many aren’t planning on early retirement.

New Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Guidelines

Finally, the Annual Meeting coincides with the release of the 2015 ACR Guideline for the Treatment of RA, which updates the 2012 document. Among the changes, lead author Dr Jasvinder Singh says, is the addition of tofacitinib and corticosteroids. Also new: recommendations on how to taper or discontinue medication because, Dr. Singh says, low disease activity and remission are more common than they were even a few years ago.

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