Biomarkers form the basis for patient stratification and the development of individualized treatment strategies. As the understanding of the pathophysiological processes underlying rheumatic diseases increases, novel biomarkers will become available and established markers can be used more efficiently. Autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for example, define a subgroup of patients with a specific risk profile and response to therapy. For this reason they have been added to the classification criteria for RA and are part of current treatment guidelines. In addition, novel markers are being evaluated and validated. For the concept of personalized medicine this indicates that the use of future therapeutic substances will be more frequently coupled to the detection of specific biomarkers. While this will decrease the number of patients who become eligible for certain treatments, it will increase efficacy and safety for patients and potentially the cost-effectiveness.