EULAR 2024 Preview: What not to miss?

EULAR 2024 Preview: What not to miss?

The annual meeting of the European Congress of Rheumatology 2024 of the European Alliance of Rheumatology Associations (EULAR) is about to take place in Vienna, Austria. From June 12 to 15, some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians will come together to present and learn about some of the new and innovative treatments for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), as well as to discuss how to use and optimize them. . existing approaches.

Before the Congress, Medscape Medical News asked the chairman of the congressional committee’s scientific program Carolina OspeltMD, PhD, and abstract professor Christian DejacoMD, PhD, MBA, to discuss some of the highlights from this year’s meeting.

From the laboratory to the patient

photo by Caroline Ospelt
Dr. Carolina Ospelt

“For me, the nice thing about EULAR is really that you have the latest in basic research, how this can be translated into clinical trials, and then the last step would be how EULAR recommends its use in clinical practice,” Ospelt said in an interview. She is a professor of experimental rheumatology at the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland.

“So if you visit EULAR continuously, you can follow the full story of how the novelty reaches clinical practice,” he added.

In another interview, Dejaco, a consultant rheumatologist and associate professor at the Medical University of Graz in Austria, said: “There are several new drug trials coming up.”

One of his highlights about the use of new drugs for the treatment of giant cell arteritis to be Janus Kinase (JAK) Inhibitor Phase 3 SELECT-GCA Trial upadacitinib (LBA0001).

photo by Christian Dejaco
Dr. Christian Dejaco

“It’s a trial that will hopefully lead to approval of this drug in this indication,” Dejaco said.

Breaking summaries

Ospelt noted: “This year we had a lot of good last-minute recaps.”

Some of these include:

The latter is “really interesting,” Ospelt said. So far there is no approved treatment for osteoarthritis or immunotherapy, “so this would be the first.”

But you don’t just have to take into account the last minute summaries. Dejaco highlighted two summaries that will be presented during the Plenary Summary:

  • A Phase 3 Study of a Novel Selective JAK1 Inhibitor, SHR0302, in Rheumatoid Arthritis (OP0037)
  • A multi-omics analysis and targeted gene editing study in people with SEE syndromewhich causes inflammatory and hematological changes (OP0073)

About the latter he said that “this disease is not yet fully understood and this summary really helps to better understand the mechanisms underlying this disease.”

One to Watch: CAR T-Cell Therapy

Ospelt said the science program is about 80% clinical and 20% basic science overall. However, more sessions are being held jointly because data is starting to move from the bench to the bedside.

One of the areas of basic science that has had “real buzz” and is now producing results in the clinic is the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. In one of the first sessions of the congress, perhaps with the apt title What’s new?, or WIN, George SchettMD, vice president of research at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nüremberg in Germany, will discuss the use of CAR T-Cell Therapy for Inflammatory RMDs. There are also multiple abstract presentations on this topic.

Another interesting approach is in-depth tissue analysis and prediction of treatment response, Ospelt said. “I think that’s the way to go, that we come from the blood and go to the tissue.” A “very nice” example of this approach will be presented during the Plenary Summary session on Wednesday, June 12, discussing how synovial tissue macrophages may provide insight into potential treatment response in treatment-naïve rheumatoid arthritis (OP0062). There are also some additional findings related to the tissue biopsy-based treatment trial. R4RA that are being presented at the meeting (OP0218, OP0242and POS0351).

EULAR Featured Sessions

Between featured sessions There is a session on the EULAR 2024 website on axial involvement in PsA and spondyloarthritis (Spa).

“Axial involvement in psoriatic arthritis and peripheral involvement in axial spondyloarthritis are a pretty hot topic right now,” Ospelt said. There are many questions: “How connected are they? How different are they? Do we need different treatment for axial involvement compared to peripheral involvement?”

Another notable EULAR session is 75th anniversary of glucocorticoid treatmentduring which Former President of EULAR and Professor Emeritus of Rheumatology Josef Smolen, MD, will review the “past, present, and future” of glucocorticoids in EMR. Consultant rheumatologist Frank ButtgereitMD, from the German Rheumatism Research Center in Berlin, will discuss the practical aspects of using these medications in clinical practice.

Dejaco noted: “Glucocorticoids have been one of the most important treatments for a long time and remain the most important treatment for the acute treatment of systemic inflammatory diseases.”

For a long time, there was no alternative to steroid use, he added, but steroid-sparing options now exist and data will be presented on a new type of medication that could potentially be used to control cortisol levels in the body (OP0335).

Recommendations and more

Ospelt and Dejaco pointed out other sessions that are likely to be very popular, such as the first and second EULAR Recommendations Sessions, a session on rheumatoid arthritis preventionas well as the numerous presentations and sessions on digital health and non-pharmacological interventions such as exercise.

With over 5,242 abstracts submitted, there will be no shortage of data to be presented at EULAR 2024. In addition to the traditional abstract submission categories, this year there is a new clinical case report category.

“We had about 578 submissions for that category,” Dejaco said. 3,315 abstracts were submitted for the clinical research category, 812 for the basic and translational research category, 283 from healthcare professionals in rheumatology, 152 from patient groups, and 102 in the field of pediatric rheumatology.

Join on site, watch on demand

EULAR 2024 will again be a face-to-face meeting this year. Some of the more light-hearted yet educational elements of the program for attendees include the second edition of the EMEUNET Rheumatology Questionnaire and, new this year, two escape rooms. These rooms will provide an interactive experience in which small teams will have to solve rheumatological puzzles in order to escape the room within an hour, Dejaco explained. There will also be a run in the morning on Friday, June 14. “It’s not a race, it’s just meeting and running together,” Dejaco said.

But if you cannot attend the Congress in person, the EULAR 2024 Live Stream It will be broadcast throughout the congress. Someone registered until June 30 you will have on-demand access to content recorded from June 17 to December 31, 2024.

The meeting summaries will be published as a supplement to Annals of rheumatic diseasesthe official newspaper of EULAR.

Ospelt does not report any relevant financial relationships. Dejaco has received consulting and speaking fees from AbbVie, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Sparrow, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Galapagos and Sanofi.

Sara Freeman is a journalist and medical writer based in London, UK. She is a regular contributor to Medscape Medical News, Medscape News UK and other healthcare media outlets.

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