Immunology
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Foreword – touchREVIEWS in RMD Vol 1 Issue 1 – 2022

Published Online: May 16th 2022
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Welcome to our first issue of touchREVIEWS in RMD. This free-to-access issue is full of topical content addressing the most important and salient developments in the management of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders, which we think will be of interest to you, including articles around systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and much more. I am delighted to take on the mantle of Editor-in-Chief for touchREVIEWS in RMD, and this issue begins with a letter in which I share a little about my background and my passion for medical education.

Targeting the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway represents a major advance in the treatment of RA and other chronic inflammatory diseases. While all currently approved JAK inhibitors in RA inhibit JAK1, Jérôme Avouac’s editorial considers the potential benefits and risks of targeting JAK1, JAK2, JAK3 and tyrosine kinase 2.

Fibromyalgia and joint hypermobility are commonly encountered among younger females. In an editorial, Clive Kelly discusses the recently established association between these two conditions and neurodivergence.

The current standard of care for patients with newly diagnosed ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) involves high doses of glucocorticoids. In the first of our review articles, Mandell et al. discuss the efficacy and safety of avacopan, an oral complement 5a inhibitor, and its potential to replace glucocorticoids in the treatment of AAV.

Anifrolumab is the only inhibitor of type I interferon to be approved for the treatment of SLE. Gulko and Furie review the rationale for its use, its clinical development and the remaining unanswered questions regarding its clinical utility. Also on the subject of SLE, Yoshiya Tanaka considers another novel therapeutic target, soluble B-cell-activating factor (BAFF), and describes the clinical development of belimumab, a monoclonal antibody against soluble BAFF, in both SLE and active lupus nephritis.

We conclude with three articles on the subject of inflammatory arthritis. Advances in our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have accelerated the pace of therapeutic development. Findeisen and Östör review the role of monoclonal antibodies targeting interleukin-23 in the treatment of PsA. Living with inflammatory arthritis is challenging, not just for patients but for their family and friends. In an editorial, Elena Nikiphorou outlines the key recommendations from the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) guidelines for the implementation of self-management strategies in patients with inflammatory arthritis. Finally, Rakhra and Mathew provide a comprehensive review of the therapies that have emerged for the treatment of PsA and axial spondyloarthritis between 2016 and 2021.

We hope you will find something of interest in this issue, and we look forward to continuing to share new and exciting content. Thanks to all who contributed and provided their expertise in putting together this issue, and to all of our authors, editorial board members and partners for their work towards our first journal issue. If you are interested in contributing to future issues, please feel free to submit [here] or contact us directly.

Peter C Taylor

Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences,
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

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