The traditional means of diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has largely relied on the manifestation of symptoms and joint damage. Furthermore, the treatment of RA generally relies on a trial and error method with different medications because many different treatments don’t work for a lot of different patients. However, a recent study from the United Kingdom has identified four biomarkers that may help diagnose RA as well as predict the effectiveness of methotrexate as a treatment method for patients (Shervington, et al 2018). Because methotrexate was original designed as a cancer treatments and essentially kills parts of the immune system in hopes that it grows back healthy, the possibility of predicting whether or not it will be an effective treatment for a patient without them having to take it is an important advancement in the RA field. Personally, the use of methotrexate and other cancer drugs as treatments for RA is something that I would like to see dissipate in the coming years and I hope that this study will be an important step in the right direction.
Shervington, L., Darekar, A., Shakh, M., Mathews, R., Shervington, A. (2018) Identifying Reliable Daignostic/Predictive Biomarkers for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Biomark Insight. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30262983