2022 - Year in Review

Precision medicine for children living with arthritis The largest study in Australia into the treatment of juvenile arthritis may pave the way for a unique approach to care for those with the disabling condition and dramatically improve outcomes.

The Commonwealth’s Medical Research Future Fund will invest $2.5 million in the A3BC for Kids project which will involve researchers from the Kolling Institute and the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Rheumatology Group. Kolling researcher and RNSH Head of Rheumatology Professor Lyn March said the centrepiece of the project, a large-scale clinical trial, represented an important step towards improved care and more efficient use of medicines. “Juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects over two million children worldwide. It is the most common chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal condition in children, and can lead to blindness and life-long disability,” she said. “The condition is more common in girls than boys and may affect a child’s bone development and overall growth. Sadly, there is no known cause or cure.” Current treatments involve the use of disease modifying and biologic medications which target particular immune pathways. need to use these medications more effectively, but there is no high-quality data indicating when or how to take children off these drugs when their condition is under control,” she said. “International clinical and research experts agree we

The CHAMPION clinical trial will recruit more than 300 children from every major paediatric rheumatology treatment centre across Australia. It will involve tapering the medications to determine who can come off these drugs and how best to withdraw them once the disease is controlled. Paediatric rheumatologist Professor Davinder Singh-Grewal said this body of work will pave the way for the development of new living treatment guidelines

and clinical decision support tools to truly personalise medicine for the individual. “This could be a global game changer for the management of children improving health outcomes and reducing uncertainty for clinicians, patients and their families,” he said. living with juvenile idiopathic arthritis,

Professor Lyn March

41 NSLHD 2022 Year in Review

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