Stopping rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before it starts should be the goal of clinicians, said Kevin Deane, MD, PhD. To that end, Deane and colleagues have started StopRA.
That stands for “Strategy for the Prevention of Onset of Clinically-Apparent RA,” and Deane, a University of Colorado School of Medicine rheumatologist, and his colleagues have been working for a decade to make America’s first-ever RA prevention trial happen.
The National Institutes of Health-funded effort enrolled its first patients in April. As of early September, Deane and colleagues had enrolled 12 patients en route to their goal of 200 participants. Half will take daily hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) pills – a standard RA treatment – for a year; the other half will take placebo pills. Deane and co-investigators will then monitor them all for another two years to see if a disease whose progression has forever seemed inevitable might indeed be halted before its autoimmune cascade takes hold.