Current biological treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) only reaches remission in less than 50% of the patients. For psoriasis (PsO), biological therapy success is better, but a stratification is certainly needed as well. Currently, these patients are treated with a “trial and error” approach because no (validated) predictors are available for therapeutic success. This has a major impact on both patient morbidity as well as direct and indirect health care costs. Based upon our success in Crohn´s disease and a discovery study in RA, we propose to perform a study for the development and validation of an epigenetic biomarker that can predict treatment success in RA and PsO.
*What are DNA methylation marks?
Epigenetics are changes to your DNA which do not alter the sequence of your DNA, but only change how certain proteins read your DNA sequence. This enables to turn certain genes “on” or “off”. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanisms where a chemical group (a methyl group) is added to the DNA. Usually, this methyl group is placed at specific places on the DNA where it can block proteins to attach to the DNA and “read” the gene. In general this means that DNA methylation turns genes “off”.