A new biology-based test for rheumatoid arthritis, the multi-biomarker disease activity or MBDA panel, promises to add robust objective information to current measures such as joint count and C-reactive protein.
Be alert for a forthcoming test composed of biologically based biomarkers that can richly supplement existing clinical information about rheumatoid arthritis. The newly developed multi-biomarker disease activity (MBDA) test correlates significantly with known clinical, laboratory, and physical indicators of RA status, in both seropositive and seronegative patients, reports a team involving rheumatologists from six major US medical centers and one in Europe.
The MBDA combines serum levels of 12 biomarkers known from basic research to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis. The research team compared results from the 100-point MBDA score with DAS28-CRP (Disease Activity Score in 28 joints with C-reactive protein) scores, testing either patients or stored serum samples from cohorts of 3 previous studies of RA, two of them carried out in North America and the other in the Netherlands.
They found a highly significant correlation (p<0.001) between the serum MBDA scores and results of DAS38-CRP. Correlations were also significant with 3 other commonly used RA indexes, the team has reported in Arthritis Care & Research. MBDA scores were also consistent with the severity of RA symptoms, and they correlated closely with the outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis treatments in these patients.
Results were consistent across a patient group representing a wide variety in autoantibody status, disease activity, and therapeutic interventions provided in diverse treatment environments, the researchers observe. Because it reflects the underlying biological activities of the disease, they say, the multi-biomarker test should be a valuable complement to clinical observation.
The current report is intended as "the first step in a comprehensive program to assess and characterize the validity and utility of the MBDA test in clinical practice," they add.