Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2012
Mentor: Tracey Wright, MD
Department: Pediatrics; Division of Rheumatology
Room number: CMC F6224
Mail Code: 9063
Phone number: 214-456-7288
Project title: Comparative Effectiveness of Therapy for Enthesitis-Related Arthritis
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): STU 022012-059 (approval pending)
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Project Type: patient-based research
Brief Description of Project:
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common rheumatologic condition in childhood, affecting 1 to 4 per 1,000 children. Enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) is a JIA subtype that accounts for 10-20% of JIA and is defined as arthritis and enthesitis of at least six weeks duration in a child younger than 16 years, OR arthritis or enthesitis plus two of the following: sacroiliac tenderness or inflammatory spinal pain, HLA-B27 positivity, onset of arthritis in a male older than six years, and family history of HLA-B27 associated disease. The comparative effectiveness and safety of different treatments for ERA remain unclear and without consensus. Treatment regimens for ERA, many of them based on those developed for adults with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis include monotherapy or combination therapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and leflunomide, or biologic agents, such as etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab. Currently, there is no well-established framework within pediatric rheumatology to perform ERA comparative effectiveness studies at sufficient scale to detect a clinically significant response to therapies. The proposed plan of research will compare the effectiveness and safety of alternative treatment strategies in incident cases of ERA from 4 different institutions across the US.
The student will screen eligible subjects and obtain consent for study enrollment. The student will specifically entail a thorough chart review of children and adolescents who meet ERA criteria at an initial or follow-up visit at the Arthritis Clinic at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and subsequent data entry into an electronic database. While this chart review only represents part of the data collection (1 of 4 sites) for the overall project, the student will be expected to perform a descriptive analysis of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital ERA patients using basic epidemiology techniques.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
3 medical students have worked with our research team since 2009. The following abstracts were presented at the UT Southwestern Medical Student Research Forum: