Clinical Research

Clinical research studies have been undertaken in the Section of Rheumatology at The University of Chicago for more than three decades. The primary aims of clinical research program in the Rheumatology Section are to advance knowledge in specific diagnostic and therapeutic areas of clinical science and to expedite the delivery of advances in basic biological and social sciences to patient care. Through basic and clinical research insights achieved by Section faculty and faculty colleagues at The University of Chicago, the Rheumatology Section has frequently been able to offer its patients early access to novel diagnostic and therapeutic advances in important areas of contemporary rheumatologic science. The section faculty has also participated in multi-center cooperative analyses aimed at achieving a more sophisticated understanding of the courses, manifestations, and management of a number of important rheumatic diseases. In addition, the Section has actively pursued studies (often under the sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health and/or pharmaceutical and bio-technology companies) of promising diagnostic modalities and of new pharmaceutical and biological agents in the treatment of major arthritic and immunologic diseases.

The following is a summary of current and recent clinical research projects in the Rheumatology Section, listed according to the disorder under investigation:

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

  • Establishment of a late-onset RA patient data base
  • Safety and efficacy of rituximab (anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) in patients with RA concurrently receiving methotrexate
  • Safety and efficacy of rituximab (anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) in patients with RA concurrently receiving methotrexate and having had an inadequate response to TNFa therapies
  • Safety and efficacy of CTLA-4Ig in patients with RA
  • Safety and efficacy of weekly doses of IL-1 trap in patients with RA

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

  • Establishment of an SLE patient clinical data base
  • Open label trial comparing mycophenolate and cyclophosphamide in inducing remission of lupus nephritis
  • Safety and efficacy trial of LJP-394 in SLE patients with a history of renal disease
  • Safety, tolerability, immunogenicity, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics of BlyS monoclonal antibody in patients with SLE
  • Feasibility study to evaluate the Adacolumn apheresis system for the treatment of active SLE
  • Neuropsychological evaluation of patients with SLE

Scleroderma

  • Efficacy of etanercept in the treatment of patients with scleroderma
  • Efficacy and safety of relaxin in the treatment of scleroderma
  • Efficacy and safety of bosenten in the healing and prevention of digital ulcers in patients with scleroderma
  • Digital sympathectomy in the treatment of digital ulcers in patients with scleroderma

Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Open label study of the efficacy of human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody in patients with psoriatic arthritis
  • Safety and efficacy of human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody in psoriatic arthritis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Infliximab compared with placebo in the treatment of patients with ankylosing spondylitis

Gout

  • Comparison of febuxostat and allopurinol in the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout
  • Placebo-contolled trial of febuxostat and allopurinol in the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout
  • Magnetic resonance imaging in the quantitative measurement of tophi in patients with gout
  • Direct physical measurement of tophi in patients with gout
  • Long-term extension trial of the safety and efficacy of febuxostat
  • In the treatment of hyperuricemia in patients with gout
  • Safety and efficacy of PEGylated recombinant uricase in the treatment of patients with refractory gout

Sarcoidosis

  • Safety and efficacy of infliximab therapy in patients with sarcoidosis

Osteoarthritis

  • Efficacy and safety of lansoprazole and naproxen versus celecoxib risk reduction on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-associated ulcers in osteoarthritic subjects taking low dose aspirin