Conference Coverage

EULAR pediatric sessions to highlight big data, personalized medicine


Personalized medicine, big data, and monogenic inflammatory diseases are just a few of the high points of pediatric rheumatology sessions at this year’s EULAR Congress.

EULAR Standing Committee Chairperson for Paediatric Rheumatology Berent J. Prakken, MD, PhD, said that a bench-to-bedside session on Wednesday afternoon would highlight how EULAR projects are driving advances in pediatric rheumatology.

Attendees will learn from Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, PhD, an internationally recognized expert in personalized medicine, about how digital tools can facilitate cross-border partnerships in pediatric rheumatology, Dr. Prakken said in an interview.

“This talk will be groundbreaking because it’s not just about another useful app,” said Dr. Prakken, professor of pediatric rheumatology and vice dean of education at University Medical Center Utrecht (the Netherlands). “Dr. Seyfert-Margolis will show how the digital revolution will change the way we communicate with patients, monitor disease, and develop novel models for clinical trials.”

The session will also cover work by the Understanding Childhood Arthritis Network (UCAN), created to facilitate international translational research in pediatric rheumatology. Speakers will describe how UCAN is helping to spur personalized medicine and working with the Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization (PRINTO) to align bench and bedside perspectives.

Another program highlight is a Thursday afternoon session on connections between monogenic autoinflammatory and pediatric rheumatic diseases. “Groundbreaking studies of these rare genetic inflammatory diseases have provided important new insights that, in turn, have led to new therapeutic options,” said Dr. Prakken.

Dr. Berent J. Prakken professor of paediatric rheumatology and vice dean of education at University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands

Dr. Berent J. Prakken

During the session, Joost Swart, MD, of Utrecht, the Netherlands, will discuss promising research on the intravenous use of mesenchymal stromal cells derived from bone marrow for the treatment of refractory juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).


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