We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Predicting the success of therapies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Award Details

  • Principal Investigator
    Professor Costantino Pitzalis
  • Type of grant
    ZZZ-Special Strategic Award
  • Amount Awarded
  • Institute
    Queen Mary University of London
  • Location
  • Status
  • Start Date
  • Grant reference number
  • Condition
    Rheumatoid Arthritis

What are the aims of this research?

The aim of this study is to identify biological molecules, for example those found in the blood or joint tissue, which can be used to predict whether a patient will respond to drugs such as methotrexate, anti-TNF, rituximab and tocilizumab. Identifying this kind of “biological marker” will help doctors to give patients with rheumatoid arthritis the drug that they are most likely to respond to, as soon as they are diagnosed. This research study also aims to address whether combinations of markers predict response better than studying one marker at a time, and identify genetic changes that are thought to be associated with treatment success.


Why is this research important?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which affects an estimated 400,000 people in the UK. There are many drugs available for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, yet not all patients respond to every treatment. At the moment, there is no way of predicting which patients will respond best to which drug and so the drugs are prescribed on a trial-and-error basis. The longer it takes to find an effective therapy, the more joint damage accumulates and the worse the long-term outlook is for patients.


How will the findings benefit patients?

The outcome of this study will be the identification of predictive markers, either biological molecules or genetic changes, which will help doctors to target the right treatments to the right patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This is particularly important as the sooner the condition is effectively controlled the better the long term health of the patient. This would also lead to a reduction in the prescription of drugs that do not work; lowering exposure to the potential side effects of these drugs and increasing cost-effectiveness.

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.