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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
 

Honorable Mentions

Rheumatoid arthritis trial earns Howley Prize


A group at the VA Boston Health Care System was instrumental in conducting a large multisite VA trial on rheumatoid arthritis that has been recognized by the National Arthritis Foundation for its impact on care.
A group at the VA Boston Health Care System was instrumental in conducting a large multisite VA trial on rheumatoid arthritis that has been recognized by the National Arthritis Foundation for its impact on care. (Photo by Derrick Morin)

A group at the VA Boston Health Care System was instrumental in conducting a large multisite VA trial on rheumatoid arthritis that has been recognized by the National Arthritis Foundation for its impact on care. (Photo by Derrick Morin)

The National Arthritis Foundation awarded its 2014 Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize for Arthritis Research to the team of investigators who published a study last year titled "Therapies for Active Rheumatoid Arthritis after Methotrexate Failure" in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was funded by VA's Cooperative Studies Program and was conducted in partnership with the U.S. National Institutes of Health and its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

The trial involved 353 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, all of whom had not responded adequately to methotrexate, a common first line treatment for the disease that is sold as Rheumatrex or Trexall. It compared two follow-up treatments for these patients, both involving methotrexate plus other medicine, and showed that a less costly therapy can help many patients, without the need for a more expensive treatment.

The Lee C. Howley Sr. Prize is given each year by the foundation to a study team that has significantly advanced understanding, treatment, or prevention of arthritis and related disease, and whose work will lead to a faster cure.


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