SCHOOL OF MEDICINE  |  PITT HOME  |  FIND PEOPLE  |  FIND A DOCTOR AT UPMC

Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

RESEARCH


Ongoing Clinical Trials


Rheumatoid Arthritis


The University of Pittsburgh Rheumatoid Arthritis Center

The UPMC Rheumatoid Arthritis Center is devoted to the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and related disorders. The physicians at the Center use a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and manage patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The Center also participates in clinical and research trials to offer patients cutting edge therapies. The Director of the UPMC Rheumatoid Arthritis Center is Dr. Larry Moreland. Yong Hwang, MD, and Mandy McGeachy, PhD, serve as Associate Directors for the Center. The Rheumatoid Arthritis Comparative Effectiveness Research (RACER) registry provides a framework for the Center for longitudinal follow-up of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and for identification of patients eligible for clinical and research trials at UPMC.

All of the UPMC rheumatologists actively participate in clinical trials offered for our patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Numerous other physician scientists at the University of Pittsburgh and other academic institutions collaborate on active research projects in the Center.

If you would like more information regarding ongoing clinical studies at our Center, please contact Laurie K. Hope at 412-647-2638 or hopelk@upmc.edu.

Currently Recruiting Trials in Rheumatoid Arthritis


Research Studies:

Collection of Biologic Tissue for Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Studies (AMP):  This is a National Institute for Health-supported study through the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) initiative. The AMP initiative is a collaboration between the NIH, biopharmaceutical companies, and non-profit organizations.  Patients who are undergoing a medical procedure that involves the removal or collection of biological specimens, such as tissues from a joint, as part of their medical care will be asked for permission to include samples of these specimens in the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Tissue Bank. Dr. Larry Moreland and Dr. Mandy McGeachy serve as the PIs for this study.

Central Pain Mechanisms, Pain Intensity and Drug Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis (CPIRA):  This study is supported by National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Dr. Larry Moreland serves as the site PI for this multi-center study.

Treatments Against RA and Effect on FDG PET-CT: The TARGET Trial:  The goal of this NIH-sponsored trial is to examine the effect of RA disease modifying drugs (DMARDs) on vascular inflammation.  We will compare two treatment regimens for RA in the setting of an RCT in patients with inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy.  Dr. Larry Moreland serves as the site PI for this multi-center study.

Strategy to Prevent the Onset of Clinically-Apparent Rheumatoid Arthritis (StopRA):  The goal of this NIH-supported study is to identify healthy individuals who may be at high risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using blood tests.  Dr. Larry Moreland serves as the site PI for this multi-center study. 

Collection of Biologic Tissue for Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Studies (AMP):  This is a National Institute for Health-supported study through the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) initiative. The AMP initiative is a collaboration between the NIH, biopharmaceutical companies, and non-profit organizations.  If you are, or will be, undergoing a medical procedure that involves the removal or collection of biological specimens, such as tissues from one of your joints, as part of your medical care, we are asking you for permission to include samples of these specimens in the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Tissue Bank. No additional amount of your tissue will be removed surgically or collected for the purpose of including a sample in the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Tissue Bank.

Does Sildenafil Improve Endothelial Dysfunction in Rheumatoid Arthritis?:  This study is sponsored by the NIH and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The goal of this study is to determine whether sildenafil use in patients diagnosed with RA improves the function and health of blood vessel walls, which may ultimately lead to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). RA patients are known to have a higher risk of CVD than the general population.  Dr. Kim Liang serves as the PI for this study.


Industry Sponsored Trials:

Rheumatoid Arthritis Comparative Effectiveness Research (RACER): Randomized Observation Study of Biologic Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis.  This is an industry-supported study.  This study is designed to develop and test better systems to compare different treatments for RA in terms of effectiveness and cost.  Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about their RA, daily activities, and overall health and provide blood samples (two tubes or about 4 tsp). These activities will take place during normally scheduled clinic appointments. Participants receive either parking validation or $5 cash reimbursement for parking or public transportation costs.

Mechanistic Studies of B- and T-cell Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Treated with TNF Antagonists, Tocilizumab, or Abatacept (MAZERATI):  The purpose of this study is to evaluate how the three main groups of RA biologic treatments work by examining differences between etanercept, adalimumab, golimumab, or certolizumab (TNF blockers) versus tocilizumab (targeting IL-6 cells) versus abatacept (targeting T-cells).

Open Label Study to evaluate Efficacy and Safety of Short-Term, Adjunctive Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) Gel Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis:  The purpose of this research study is to evaluate whether ACTH Gel helps decrease the disease symptoms in RA patients who are already taking DMARDs or oral corticosteroids such as prednisone along with a biologic therapy.

Phase 3b/4 Randomized Safety Endpoint Study of 2 Doses of Tofacitinib in Comparison to a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Inhibitor in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis:    This trial is sponsored by Pfizer, Inc.  The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the safety of tofacitinib at two doses versus a TNFi; the co-primary endpoints are adjudicated major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and adjudicated malignancies excluding non-melanoma skin cancers during study participation.

Pilot Studying Using Pain Detect in RA


Departmental-Supported Trials:

Banking of Blood Samples and Collection of Clinical Data for Research on Autoimmune and Arthritis Disease.  This is supported by the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. This is an ongoing registry study for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune diseases as well as for people who can serve as healthy controls. We collect blood and other tissues to use in our basic and clinical sciences research laboratories.