Collection |

Key Advances in Rheumatology

The Key Advances in Rheumatology collection offers a unique series of specially commissioned ‘Year in Review’ articles that highlight the key discoveries made each year. In these articles, leading experts in the field describe their pick of the top 3–5 key advances of the year, outlining their clinical impact and implications for current and future research.


  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors (jakinibs) that target downstream signalling by a large range of cytokines are effective in treating autoimmune and rheumatic diseases. Newer jakinibs that selectively inhibit individual JAKs and a narrower spectrum of cytokines have now been developed, but how do these inhibitors compare with existing drugs?

    • John J. O’Shea
    •  &  Massimo Gadina
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the embodiment of a multi-organ autoimmune disease, results from hyperactivation of host-defence pathways and immune recognition of the most fundamental building blocks of life. In 2018, key advances have placed intestinal immunity and dysregulated expansions of candidate pathobionts at the forefront of SLE pathogenesis.

    • Gregg J. Silverman
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Cell metabolism has long been at the forefront of tumour biology, but in the past decade the importance of cellular bioenergetics has been increasingly recognized in regulating immune cell function. Mechanistic studies in 2018 have highlighted cell metabolism as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Trudy McGarry
    •  &  Ursula Fearon
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    The Wnt signalling pathway is the target of current anabolic therapies for osteoporosis. Studies in 2018 have revealed more about endogenous control of Wnt-related signalling, including mechanisms of natural Wnt inhibition and new anabolic signalling pathways that could be harnessed to overcome the challenges posed by current therapies.

    • Natalie A. Sims
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    In 2018, advances in the treatment of gout flares came in the form of a new nurse-led management approach to serum urate lowering and evidence that allopurinol might have a better cardiovascular safety profile than febuxostat. However, are IL-1β blockers such as canakinumab the future of care for patients with gout?

    • Lisa K Stamp
    •  &  Nicola Dalbeth


  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Multiple scientific fields pertaining to inflammation, including the fields of cardiovascular, infection and cancer research, are increasingly contributing to our understanding of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In 2017, such research has helped develop our understanding of RA comorbidity, the link between RA pathogenesis and infection, and the effects of new therapies.

    • Pierre Miossec
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    A large number of patients with osteoporosis are not receiving appropriate treatment, due in part to concerns regarding drug safety. Great progress has been made to address this crisis in therapy in 2017, including highlighting the patients' views, developing new therapies and treatment strategies and addressing these safety concerns.

    • Christian Roux
    •  &  Karine Briot
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    The rarity, severity and complexity of paediatric rheumatic diseases make progress in treating these diseases a challenge. In 2017, a new series of recommendations for treatment, studies that unravel the complexity of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and clinical trials that tackle sight-threatening uveitis have helped to improve paediatric care.

    • Michael W. Beresford
    •  &  Athimalaipet V. Ramanan
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Tremendous progress has been made in the identification of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk factors in 2017. The results of epidemiological studies highlighted dietary and hormonal factors that are associated with slowing the transition from one preclinical phase of RA to another, potentially protecting individuals from developing RA.

    • Jeffrey A. Sparks
    •  &  Karen H. Costenbader
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Osteoarthritis research in 2017 provided new insights into the long-term effects of intra-articular glucocorticoids, and also led to the approval of a novel, longer-lasting glucocorticoid formulation. New drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis also emerged this year, including a small-molecule inhibitor of the Wnt signalling pathway.

    • Timothy E. McAlindon
    •  &  Raveendhara R. Bannuru


  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Gene expression profiling has been used for the first time to stratify patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) into potentially useful clinical groups, and also to further understand differences in the cell-specificity and nature of the interferon signature typical of SLE and other autoimmune diseases.

    • Guillermo Barturen
    •  &  Marta E. Alarcón-Riquelme
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an expansion of certain gut commensals, although the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In 2016, studies using experimental models of arthritis have begun to unravel the links between the gut microbiota, T follicular helper cells and arthritis.

    • Veena Taneja
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year in Review

    In 2016, there have been several major scientific achievements related to myositis, including the discovery of a novel autoantibody and the relationship between autoantibodies and distinct clinical phenotypes. Advances in the way clinical trials are conducted have also led to breakthroughs in treatment strategies.

    • Ingrid E. Lundberg

Current related Reviews

  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Review Article

    Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are emerging therapeutic agents for the treatment of rheumatic inflammatory diseases. In this Review, the author outlines the safety profile of JAK inhibitors, discussing the potential adverse effects associated with these drugs, such as malignancy, infections and reactivation of herpes zoster.

    • Kevin L. Winthrop
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Review Article

    In this Review, Tsokos et al. describe recent advances in our understanding of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that are driving repurposing of existing drugs as well as development of new treatments. Cytokines, tolerance pathways, local tissue mediators, and epigenetic mechanisms all show promise as novel targeted therapies that could lead to individualized care in SLE.

    • George C. Tsokos
    • , Mindy S. Lo
    • , Patricia Costa Reis
    •  &  Kathleen E. Sullivan
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Review Article

    A growing body of evidence implicates the human gut microbiota in health and in disease, including spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This article explores the ways in which the microbiota influences innate and adaptive immune responses in the host.

    • Tom Van de Wiele
    • , Jens T. Van Praet
    • , Massimo Marzorati
    • , Michael B. Drennan
    •  &  Dirk Elewaut
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Review Article

    Metabolic reprogramming of immune cells in disease has functional consequences and presents potential therapeutic opportunities. In this Review, Weyand & Goronzy examine the role of immunometabolism in rheumatoid arthritis, looking particularly at the different metabolic pathways used in early and late stages of disease.

    • Cornelia M. Weyand
    •  &  Jörg J. Goronzy
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Review Article

    This Review explores the main mechanisms of inflammation and the role of innate immune sensors in gouty arthritis, and discusses potential therapeutic approaches aimed at regulating these processes.

    • Alexander K. So
    •  &  Fabio Martinon
  • Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Consensus Statement | open

    In this Consensus Statement, an expert panel compares and contrasts recommendations for the management of gout produced by rheumatology organizations and the American College of Physicians (ACP), and present the G-CAN position on the ACP guideline.

    • Nicola Dalbeth
    • , Thomas Bardin
    • , Michael Doherty
    • , Frédéric Lioté
    • , Pascal Richette
    • , Kenneth G. Saag
    • , Alexander K. So
    • , Lisa K. Stamp
    • , Hyon K. Choi
    •  &  Robert Terkeltaub