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Treat to Target Achieves Remission in Rheumatoid Arthritis

A “treat-to-target” approach to rheumatoid arthritis means a treatment that aims to achieve disease remission. Research shows that this approach is more successful at the goal of remission.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to achieve remission when that is the goal of treatment, and they do so sooner, new research shows.

With the so-called treat-to-target protocol, patients are 50% more likely to achieve remission and 64% more likely to achieve sustained remission within 3 months, said Sofia Ramiro, MD, PhD, from Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. In addition, patients treated to target achieve remission 3.7 times faster than those treated with less systematic treatment plans.

These findings were presented here at American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2015 Annual Meeting, just hours after the release of updated guidelines endorsing the treat-to-target approach for rheumatoid arthritis. The approach is already standard in many parts of the world.

The conscious choice to work toward remission might seem like an obvious goal, but it has only been possible since the emergence of powerful new drugs, said Sarah Doaty, MD, from the University of California, Los Angeles, who moderated a news conference during which the results were reported.

“We’ve been fortunate in the past few decades that we have a whole new armamentarium of treatments,” she told Medscape Medical News.

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