UA Arthritis News: Study Weighs IL Inhibitor Risks, ‘Conquering Arthritis’– Nov. 6, and Journal Adds Dr. Kwoh to Board

JAMA Network Open posts article by Drs. Jawad Bilal and C. Kent KwohUniversity of Arizona Rheumatology Fellow Jawad Bilal, MBBS, is lead author on a paper picked up by JAMA Network Open for an “Original Investigation | Rheumatology” feature published on Oct. 18.

Co-authors on the paper include a current UA Internal Medicine resident, two former residents and C. Kent Kwoh, MD, chief of the UA Division of Rheumatology, director of the UA Arthritis Center, the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Chair of Rheumatology and a professor of medicine and medical imaging.

JAMA Network“Risk of Infections and Cancer in Patients with Rheumatologic Diseases Receiving Interleukin Inhibitors: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” | JAMA Network Open

AUTHORS: Jawad Bilal, MBBS; Adam Berlinberg, MD; Irbaz Bin Riaz, MD; Warda Faridi, MD; Sandipan Bhattacharjee, PhD; Gilbert Ortega, MD; Mohammad H. Murad, MD; Zhen Wang, PhD; Larry J. Prokop, MLS; Abdullah A. Alhifany, PharmD; and C. Kent Kwoh, MD

Interleukin inhibitors, Dr. Kwoh said, are newer, potent biologic agents that have proven very efficacious for patients with various rheumatologic and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and inflammatory bowel disease—in that they inhibit different parts of the immune system.

“In this study,” he said, “we examined potential side effects such as an increased risk of serious infections, opportunistic infections (such Valley fever), and cancers. We used meta-analysis, a very powerful analytic technique that combines information from many different studies—in this case, randomized controlled clinical trials. Any one study might not be able to show a difference. Here, though, we combined information from 74 randomized clinical trials that had a total of 29,214 patients.”

Their review found that an increased risk of serious infections and opportunistic infections, and possibly an increased risk of cancer in patients with rheumatologic and autoimmune diseases who are treated with Interleukin (IL) inhibitors compared those who were treated with placebo. Similar risks exist with other biologic agents.

“The take home point is that physicians need to monitor for these potential adverse events when prescribing Interleukin Inhibitors and that they need to inform patients of the potential risks associated with these drugs,” Dr. Kwoh added. “This was the largest study to date of the risks associated with Interleukin inhibitors for patients with rheumatologic and autoimmune diseases.”

JAMA Network Open is part of a series of publications and websites overseen through the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Come Learn How UA Arthritis Center Researchers Are ‘Conquering Arthritis’

REMINDER: 'Conquering Arthritis' – Meet the University of Arizona Arthritis Center Researchers, Nov. 6, 2019The UA Arthritis Center and UA Division of Rheumatology will host their annual “Meet the University of Arizona Arthritis Center Researchers” event on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, 6-7:15 p.m., in the HSIB Forum of the Health Sciences Innovation Building, 1670 E. Drachman St. The evening’s activities are free, but preregistration is required. Meet one-on-one with our investigators.


Topics include:

  • How do we regrow bone and cartilage?
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies for osteoarthritis
  • What sweat can tell us about health, wellbeing, and human performance
  • Attitudes and beliefs about opioid use in osteoarthritis
  • Novel non-pharmacological methods to manage chronic pain
  • MRI techniques to identify knee osteoarthritis before it develops
  • Innovative strategies for carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Insights from large-scale studies on knee osteoarthritis progression

A panel discussion with UA Arthritis Center director Dr. Kent Kwoh, pain management specialist Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD (Anesthesiology), and mind-body-wellbeing medicine pioneer Esther Sternberg, MD (Integrative Medicine), will follow the researcher open house along with poster displays. Other researchers include: Michael Dhom, MD (Orthopedics); Zong-Ming Li, PhD (Orthopedics); John Szivek, PhD (Orthopedics/Biomedical Engineering); Ernest Vina, MD (Rheumatology); Hsin-Jung Joyce Wu, PhD (Immunobiology); and UA Rheumatology fellows Jawad Bilal, MBBS, Hani Rashad, DO, and Michael Villatoro Villar, MD.


Annals of Internal Medicine logoEditorial Board of Annals of Internal Medicine Adds Dr. Kwoh

American College of Physicians logo - greenUA Arthritis Center Director Dr. C. Kent Kwoh has been named to the editorial board of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The Annals of Internal Medicine is an academic medical journal published by the American College of Physicians. It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world. The journal publishes content relevant to the field of internal medicine and related sub-specialties, including rheumatology.



For additional information, contact Kimberly Seales (UA Division of Rheumatology) or Tracy Shake (UA Arthritis Center).

Release Date: 
10/29/2019 - 4:15pm