How to treat arthritis?
Scots have learned to predict the therapy of rheumatoid arthritis
Denis Strigun, Naked Science
Scottish scientists have developed a method that allows predicting the results of treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using machine learning. This is reported on the website of the American College of Rheumatology (Three Gene Sets Could Predict Response to Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapies).
RA is an inflammatory disease in which joints are affected (more often small). The prevalence of the disease is about one percent in the general population. At the same time, its causes are unknown, and treatment is mainly aimed at relieving pain. Since RA has an autoimmune nature, immunosuppressants are used for treatment, in particular tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF) and anti-B-cell therapy. But for some patients, such methods are ineffective.
To predict the results of therapy, scientists from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow studied the data of 241 patients with RA. In the course of their work, they divided the blood samples of the subjects into two groups: about 70 percent of the biomaterial was used for RNA sequencing; 30 percent served as control. Then the blood from the first group was treated with an TNF inhibitor or rituximab (an antitumor agent). The efficiency forecast was built using the support vector machine.
The result of the analysis were three profiles of gene expression, allowing to assess the success of treatment in advance. The authors identified eight genes that predict susceptibility to both drugs, 23 genes associated with susceptibility to TNF inhibitors, and 23 genes associated with susceptibility to rituximab. A tenfold cross-check showed that the accuracy of the forecast is 91.6, 89.7 and 85.7 percent, respectively. The next step will be to test the method through targeted RNA sequencing.
"If our data are confirmed, this will allow us to distribute patients according to the criterion of susceptibility to a particular drug. As a result, the effectiveness of treatment will increase, and the risk of prescribing inappropriate medications will decrease. Inappropriate therapy in RA is associated with pain, disability, decreased motor activity and quality of life in general. The ability to predict the consequences of treatment will improve the condition of patients," said co–author Duncan Porter.
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