Friday, 15 Feb 2019

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Best of 2018: Ustekinumab May be Effective in Lupus

Ronald F van Vollenhoven and colleagues have reported in Lancet that ustekinumab (UST), an interleukin-12 and -23 inhibitor, when added to usual therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, was shown to be superior to placebo at improving clinical efficacy and laboratory parameters after 6 months of therapy.

Best of 2018: Unproven But Profitable Stem Cell Clinics

Stem cell clinics are popular and proliferating as they are largely a cash business and fall outside of FDA regulatory control. In lieu of scientific proof, most advocates use patient testimonials and the placebo effect to back up their claims.

Mourning the Loss of NIAMS Director Stephen Katz, MD, PhD

The following tribute to the late Dr. Steven Katz appeared on the NIH website. 

RheumNow Podcast – Rheumatologist Salaries (12.21.18)

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news from RheumNow for the week ending 12/21/18.

Zolendronate Protects Against Fracture in Osteopenia

The NEJM reports that the use of zoledronate significantly reduces the risk of nonvertebral or vertebral fragility fractures in women with osteopenia.

While it is known that bisphonates have beneficial effects in osteoporosis, their impact in osteopenia has not been shown. 

Reassuring VTE Data for Tofacitinib

No significant differences in risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) were seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with tofacitinib (Xeljanz) and those receiving tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, analysis of administrative data showed.

Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy in Dermatomyositis

A study of nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) finds abnormalities in more than half of patients suggesting this could be a useful clinical tool in diagnosing and managing patients with IIM. 

Rheumatologist and Physician Salaries for 2018

Medpage Today has published the results of their 2018 Rheumatology Specialty Salaray Survey.

The survey of physicians and health care providers was performed by Health Media Resources and included over 20,000 online responses - of whom only 7753 provided salary information. Here are some of the key points:

TIF1-Ab in Dermatomyositis Linked to Higher Cancer Risk

Several epidemiological studies have reported that a diagnosis of DM or PM may be associated with increased cancer risk. The association appears stronger for DM than PM. Based on a meta-analysis, DM cancer risk is five times higher than in the general population and twice that compared with PM cancer risk. 

H2H: Ixekizumab vs. Adalimumab in Psoriatic Arthritis

Lilly has issued an advanced press release on its SPIRIT-H2H trial, wherein ixekizumab (Taltz) was shown to be more effective than than adalimumab (Humira) in a 24 week psoriatic arthritis study.

SPIRIT-H2H study was designed as a large head-to-head (H2H) superiority study to assess the efficacy and safety of ixekizumab versus adalimumab active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients who are biologic naive.

Rising Physician Exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid

JAMA Network Open has published that an increasing number of physicians are being excluded from Medicare and other forms of public insurance. 

Overall the authors found that the number of physicians excluded from Medicare, Medicaid, and other state public insurance programs increased on average by 20% per year between 2007 and 2017.

Cryotherapy Never FDA Approved

Another injury related to whole body cryotherapy (WBC) has been reported by practitioners in Philadelphia, serving as yet another warning of WBC's potential to cause serious adverse effects.