Girl Planting seeds

HackensackUMC Physician Featured at National Symposium to Shine Light on New Developments in Treating Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

December 14, 2012 06:28 PM
Yukiko Kimura, M.D.


Yukiko Kimura, M.D., chief of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, was recently invited to be a featured speaker at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP), held in November in Washington, D.C.

The symposium – New Developments in Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis– featured lectures by threepediatric rheumatology experts, including Dr. Kimura, who reviewed current practices and the potential impact of the results of the recent clinical trials on systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) management based on the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Registry. CARRA, a large network of pediatric rheumatologists in the U.S. and Canada, has a robust pediatric rheumatic diseases registry, which has been gathering disease and treatment information for the past two years.Currently in the United States and around the world, there is a great deal of variability in the way systemic JIA is managed. The Phase III clinical trials of the IL-6 inhibiting agent tocilizumab and the IL-1 inhibiting agent canakinumab have been completed and the results look very promising. The open-label extension parts of both studies are in progress with new safety data being generated, however, the choice and the optimal timing of administration of the biologics remain unclear.

“Systemic JIA has historically been a challenging disease to treat because it is often refractory to conventional treatments for arthritis,” Dr. Kimura said. “However, treatment patterns are changing dramatically as specific therapies have been found to be very effective for this disease. There is some evidence to suggest that early treatment with effective therapies may change the long-term outcome of this disease.”

Dr. Kimura, who also chairs the JIA Research Committee of CARRA,discussed how data from the CARRA registry is being analyzed to understand how pediatric rheumatologists are currently treating systemic JIA and whether treatment patterns have changed.

“Systemic JIA treatment is changing, but there is still significant variability in the choice of treatment among pediatric rheumatologists,” she said. “The CARRA registry is a rich resource of information about pediatric rheumatic diseases that can be used for many purposes.”

To offer symposium attendees a “real-world snapshot” of the variability in treatment approaches, Dr. Kimura and her colleagues employed an audience response system to poll attendees during the symposium about their opinions regarding treatment of systemic JIA. Although further studies need to be conducted to determine the safest and most effective approach to treat systemic JIA, the new developments highlighted by Dr. Kimura could result in improved outcomes.

In addition, two research studies about systemic JIA authored by members of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital pediatric rheumatology division were accepted for presentation at the meeting. The first was presented by Dr. Jennifer Weiss and discussed the results of a survey done of CARRA members regarding current systemic JIA treatment practices in 2012. The second, authored by Dr. Kimura, presented the results of a study looking at rare but life-threatening complications involving the lung in patients with severe systemic JIA that appear to be on the rise.


About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a non-profit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, New Jersey, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state, and home to the only Level II Trauma Center in the county. This 775-bed facility has gone beyond traditional thinking by creating an entire campus of care, including: the Heart & Vascular Hospital, the John Theurer Cancer Center, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital. As a result of using science and creativity to push medicine further, HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey and one of the top four New York metro area hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report, and has received nine national rankings in: Cancer; Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology; Geriatrics; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Urology; and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital ranked as one of the Top 25 Best Children’s Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the 2012-13 Best Children’s Hospitals list. The medical center has also been named one of the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals® and one of America's 50 Best Hospitals by HealthGrades®. It is listed among the Leapfrog Top Hospitals List, received 18 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission, and is listed as one of the 50 Best Hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence. The medical center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls, and remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more about one of the nation’s 50 best hospitals, visit:   




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