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  • 2023 marks 25 years since the approval of the first biologic drug in rheumatology. In this Viewpoint, five rheumatology researchers discuss how biologic therapy has transformed clinical practice, reflecting on their own experience, past and current challenges and what the future might hold for biologic drugs.

    • Marc Feldmann
    • Ravinder N. Maini
    • Tsutomu Takeuchi
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on researchers around the world. In this Viewpoint, six rheumatology researchers at different career stages and from different regions discuss the difficulty of conducting research during the pandemic, and also reflect on how the pandemic has changed their attitudes towards research and their plans for the future.

    • Paula Alba Moreyra
    • Francis Berenbaum
    • Sowmya Viswanathan
  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented changes in rheumatology clinical practice. In this Viewpoint article, we asked five experts to describe their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, how their clinical practice has changed, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

    • Eloisa Bonfá
    • Laure Gossec
    • Soumya Raychaudhuri
  • Despite the increasingly recognized impact of hand osteoarthritis, clinical trials of therapeutics for this disease are lacking. In this context, the authors of this Viewpoint article highlight the limitations of current outcome measures for hand osteoarthritis, and argue that improvements to these measures are needed, as well as the development of new tools.

    • Emmanuel Maheu
    • Francis Berenbaum
  • In this Viewpoint, Professors Pelletier and Martel-Pelletier discuss some of the various imaging techniques that are used in clinical trials assessing the effectiveness of disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs. They promote the use of MRI in this setting, as this technique can provide reliable and sensitive information regarding the effects of drugs on cartilage loss.

    • Jean-Pierre Pelletier
    • Johanne Martel-Pelletier
  • The impact of biologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis on quality of life has clear relevance to studies of the cost-effectiveness of these agents. As discussed in this Viewpoint, however, several deficiencies in current economic evaluations need to be overcome in order to enhance the utility of such research.

    • Wilbert B van den Hout
  • Although rituximab specifically binds to CD20 on B cells, it also has efficacy in the treatment of autoimmune diseases that are predominantly mediated by T helper cells. In this Viewpoint, Dr Datta proposes a novel hypothesis to explain this: the association of the pathogenic autoreactive T cells with anti-CD20 opsonized B cells might in fact make rituximab specific for autoreactive T cells.

    • Syamal K Datta
  • A considerable increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is conveyed not only by inflammation, but also by the use of glucocorticoids to treat inflammation. In this Viewpoint, the authors discuss the challenge of balancing the relative benefits and hazards of glucocorticoid treatment for inflammatory diseases, as well as the tantalizing prospect of identifying subgroups of the population at risk for cardiovascular disease.

    • Frank Buttgereit
    • Gerd-Rüdiger Burmester
    • Brian J Lipworth
  • Updated guidance from the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on the use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists for rheumatoid arthritis recommends that patients who do not respond to initial anti-TNF therapy should not switch to another TNF inhibitor. In this Viewpoint, the authors discuss the rationale and controversies surrounding this recommendation.

    • David L Scott
    • Sophia Steer
  • In light of the impressive efficacy of tumor necrosis factor blockers in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, particularly in patients with short disease duration, defining outcome parameters to monitor the structural damage of the disease has become more pertinent. In this Viewpoint the authors explore the relevance of osteoproliferation amongst other outcome parameters.

    • Heiner Appel
    • Martin Rudwaleit
    • Joachim Sieper
  • In this Viewpoint, Drs Doria and Briani highlight recent advances in efforts to improve the long-term prognosis of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. The strategies discussed aim to prevent both the occurrence of the disease and its complications.

    • Andrea Doria
    • Chiara Briani
  • Hypermobility-related disorders are frequently encountered in clinical practice, but are too often dismissed as trivial. In this Viewpoint, Prof. Grahame discusses why the current perception of these disorders is inadequate, and highlights recent advances in the field as well as challenges and opportunities for future research and therapy.

    • Rodney Grahame
  • Guidelines for access to biologic therapies vary considerably between different nations. In this Viewpoint, Drs Deighton and Hyrich discuss the pros and cons of current guidelines for anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and recommend a number of elements that should be included in future guidelines.

    • Chris Deighton
    • Kimme Hyrich
  • Although useful in clinical trials, current measures of RA activity have important limitations when used in clinical practice. In this Viewpoint, Drs Wolfe and Michaud discuss the limitations of these activity scales and indices, and recommend that clinicians use these measures in combination with longitudinal data and additional non-questionnaire information about the patient.

    • Frederick Wolfe
    • Kaleb Michaud
  • Central nervous system vasculitis can cause a wide spectrum of neurological deficits in children. In this Viewpoint, Drs Cantez and Benseler provide an overview of the field and highlight for rheumatologists the importance of recognizing and appropriately treating this disease.

    • Serdar Cantez
    • Susanne M Benseler
  • In rheumatoid arthritis, bone involvement presents as generalized osteoporosis, periarticular osteoporosis and erosions. Prof. Haugeberg discusses evidence for all three features resulting from increased activation of the osteoclast, and suggests that potent anti-inflammatory treatment, or direct inhibition of the osteoclast, might protect against all of these types of bone damage seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

    • Glenn Haugeberg
  • Systematic reviews, although they can highlight important findings in the literature, often raise even more questions. In this Viewpoint, Prof Smolen and Prof Aletaha discuss approaches to comprehensive reviews in general, and to those involving rheumatoid arthritis in particular, from the clinical trialist's point of view.

    • Josef S Smolen
    • Daniel Aletaha