CARRA study enrollment complete

New Large-scale Study to Make Personalized Medicine a Reality for Kids With JIA

Personalized treatments for children with arthritis will soon be a reality, thanks to a new research study supported by the Arthritis Foundation.

The study, the largest of its kind, is being done by the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), a North American research network that conducts collaborative research to find treatments and a cure for pediatric rheumatic diseases. The Arthritis Foundation has worked closely with CARRA since it was formed in 2002. Together, we’ve aligned our scientific agendas, and the Foundation has committed millions of dollars toward expanding juvenile arthritis research through CARRA.

Recently, CARRA announced it has completed enrollment, which began in 2016, of 403 newly-diagnosed children with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (poly-JIA). Poly-JIA, where five or more joints are involved, is one of the leading causes of disability in children. It can lead to permanent joint damage and there’s no cure yet.

Over the past several years, however, new medications have drastically improved outcomes for many children with JIA. Half of them have clinically inactive disease after two years of treatment.

The STOP-JIA project (Start Time Optimization of Biologic Therapy in Poly-JIA) will compare outcomes, depending on when medications began – resulting in recommendations, when the study ends in 2019, of strategies that may work best for individual patients. Registering these patients as soon as possible after diagnosis was key to the project’s goals.

“We’re excited to complete enrollment in the largest prospective research study of newly-diagnosed JIA patients,” says Dr. Yukiko Kimura, lead investigator of the STOP-JIA study and immediate past president of CARRA. Dr. Sarah Ringold, co-lead investigator, adds: “Patients and families give us new, eye-opening perspectives that make our research more relevant.”

“We’re very proud to work in partnership with CARRA to see these and other major scientific initiatives moving forward,” says Guy Eakin, Sr. VP of scientific strategy at the Arthritis Foundation.

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