The disease markers that will aid arthritis research

Jul 24, 2009

A combination of biochemical and MRI markers will allow improved measurement of osteoarthritis (OA) progression. The biomarkers, described in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, will be useful for the design and interpretation of trials of new disease modifying drugs.

Erik Dam, from Nordic Bioscience, Denmark, worked with a team of researchers to develop and evaluate the markers. He said, "Presently, there is no disease-modifying OA drug with a consistent, documented effect despite several clinical attempts in late stage phases. We believe that effective therapies could be demonstrated, if tools were available that allow identification of rapid progressors for inclusion in trials. With this in mind, we investigated whether combinations of biochemical and MRI-based biomarkers might improve diagnosis and prognosis of ".

Dam and his colleagues included 159 subjects in their trial. After exclusions, a total of 287 knees were measured. At baseline and after 21 months, biochemical (urinary collagen type II C-telopeptide fragment, CTX-II) and MRI-based markers were quantified. MRI markers included cartilage volume, thickness, area, roughness, homogeneity, and curvature in the medial tibio-femoral compartment. Joint space width, the presently accepted marker for population selection in clinical studies, was measured from radiographs. According to Dam, "The best individual was cartilage roughness and the best individual prognostic marker was homogeneity. The aggregate cartilage longevity marker (combining CTX-II, volume, area, thickness, congruity, roughness, and homogeneity) performed very well both diagnostically and prognostically - and superior to the individual biochemical and MRI markers. We attribute this to the combination of markers with complementary information about quantity (e.g. volume), quality (e.g. homogeneity), and breakdown (CTX-II) that together allow superior diagnosis/prognosis".

The proposed aggregate marker methodology may have a direct impact on the design of clinical studies. The researchers claim, "By allowing the selection of a high risk population, the study sample size can be lowered while still improving the chance of a positive study outcome. This should facilitate the development of effective drugs".

More information: Identification of progressors in osteoarthritis by combining biochemical and MRI-based markers, Erik B Dam, Marco Loog, Claus Christiansen, Inger Byrjalsen, Jenny Folkesson, Mads Nielsen, Arish A Qazi, Paola C Pettersen, Patrick Garnero and Morten A Karsdal, Arthritis Research & Therapy (in press), arthritis-research.com/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Explore further: Ebola has killed 61 in Guinea since January

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New test to diagnose osteoarthritis early

Aug 20, 2008

A newly developed medical imaging technology may provide doctors with a long-awaited test for early diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA), scientists from New York reported today at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical ...

Obesity contributes to rapid cartilage loss

Jul 14, 2009

Obesity, among other factors, is strongly associated with an increased risk of rapid cartilage loss, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.

Out of joint

Sep 19, 2008

As America's Baby Boomers jog into the 21st century, joint pain from the most common form of arthritis continues to be a number one disabler. Until now, there has been no way to diagnose the disease until it reaches an advanced ...

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

10 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

10 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

22 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.