Approximately 16,800 rheumatology-related health care professionals slowly made their way out of San Francisco as the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting 2015 (#ACR15) came to a close. The conference was jam-packed with more than 3,000 study abstracts and 260 thought-provoking scientific sessions and presentations.
Here are some of the highlights:
On Day One, there was a spirited debate over the long-term use of low-dose corticosteroids in inflammatory arthritis between Dr. Eric Ruderman from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago, and Dr. Maarten Boers from VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. There is no right or wrong answer; it’s all about weighing risks and benefits.
Continue reading Highlights from ACR 2015 Day Four- It’s a Wrap!
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.
Continue reading Highlights of ACR 2015, Day Three – A Focus on New Research
Our team is still here on-site at ACR 2015 and we continue to absorb new and intriguing information stemming from the latest research around arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Highlights of what we heard over the course of Day 2 are below!
Several presentations on treatments for knee OA were on offer: First, good news for people with OA who take corticosteroid injections in the knee; a study presented by Dr. Tim McAlindon from Tufts University Medical Center found that getting injections every three months over the course of two years did not significantly increase structural damage to the cartilage as previously feared. Chondroitin got a nod thanks to a Canadian study led by Dr. Jean-Pierre Pelletier at the University of Montreal. His study found that chondroitin sulfate was as good as celecoxib (Celebrex) at controlling pain. But – bonus – the chondroitin seemed to slow the progression of cartilage damage by some measures during the two-year study period. Even if the benefit was small, it could mean a delay in knee surgery down the road, said Dr. Pelletier. Another study, also out of Tufts, found that Tai Chi helped pain and function in knee OA as much as physical therapy. But Tai Chi, because it is a mind/body practice also helped improve depression, which is a big problem for people with all different types of arthritis. And a small study out of Brazil of 98 OA patients found that once-a-week ozone injections into the knee for eight weeks seem to help with pain and joint function compared placebo – but larger studies are needed.
Continue reading Highlights from ACR 2015, Day Two – ACR Annual Meeting Continues at Full Steam in San Francisco!
The Scientific Sessions of the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting officially kicked off yesterday in San Francisco. More than 16,000 of doctors and related health care professionals from all over the world gathered to hear the latest rheumatology-related research and debate the hottest topics, and our Arthritis Foundation team is on-site joining the dialogue! 2015 is a special year as the ACR’s sister organization, the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (AHRP), is celebrating its golden (50 year) anniversary.
Some of the interesting goings-on: Dr. Daniel Furst, from UCLA, refereed as Dr. Eric Ruderman from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago, squared off against Dr. Maarten Boers from VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in the great debate over long-term, low-dose corticosteroids — should patients use it in the first six months? How about in the first 3 years? It’s all about weighing risks and benefits.
Continue reading Highlights of ACR 2015 – Day One