The early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) leads to significantly improved clinical outcomes. However not all patients who see their doctor with a new onset of arthritis go on to develop RA; in some cases the patient’s arthritis resolves spontaneously and in other cases they develop another form of persistent arthritis. It is thus important to be able to predict from the start which patients with early arthritis will develop RA to allow targeted early treatment.
Furthermore, a wide range of medications are available for the treatment of RA and there are considerable differences in responses to treatment amongst patients. The ability to predict treatment response is thus of considerable clinical importance.
The BEACON cohort is designed to address these questions by carefully tracking the progress of patients with new onset arthritis over time, and linking their progress to the results of scientific analyses of the samples they donate.