To develop a comprehensive listing of the greatest unmet scientific and clinical needs in rheumatology. The 20th annual international Targeted Therapies meeting brought more than 100 leading basic scientists and clinical researchers in rheumatology, immunology, epidemiology, molecular biology and other specialties. During the meeting, breakout sessions were convened, consisting of five disease-specific groups with 20-30 experts assigned to each group based on expertise. Specific groups included rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, connective tissue diseases and a basic science immunology group spanning all of these clinical domains. In each group, experts were asked to consider recent accomplishments within their clinical domain in the last year and update the unmet needs in three categorical areas: basic/translational science, clinical science and therapeutic development, and clinical care. While progress was noted among some of previously identified needs, both new needs were identified and themes from prior meetings were re-iterated: the need for better understanding the heterogeneity within each disease, and for identifying preclinical states of disease allowing treatment and prevention of disease in those at risk, and the elusive ability to cure disease. Within the clinical care realm, improved comorbidity management and patient-centred care continue to be unmet needs, and the need for new and affordable therapeutics was highlighted. Unmet needs for new and accessible targeted therapies, disease prevention and ultimately cure remain a priority in rheumatology.
Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis; inflammatory myopathies; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; sjögren’s syndrome; spondyloarthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; systemic sclerosis; vasculitis.
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