Concluding Remarks and Future Prospects of Biomarkers of OA

The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI), an organization devoted to the study of OA, has established an OA Biomarkers Global Initiative. With support from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of NIH and the Arthritis Foundation, OARSI has developed a series of workshops since 2009 that have brought together scientists from around the world for meetings. The broad goals for OA research are aimed at: developing a paradigm of molecular, pre-radiographic, and radiographic OA that can be used in clinical trials; identifying subgroups such as early OA and post-injury OA; influencing research to advance biomarker development; optimizing use of existing samples and clinical study resources; and developing a study of current biomarkers using the samples from the Osteoarthritis Initiative of the US Government (Kraus et al. 2010). The goal of current research is to move the diagnosis of OA from a radiologic viewpoint back to a pre-radiologic viewpoint and on to the molecular events that initiate cartilage breakdown and joint failure (Sandell 2012).

In spite of a significant increase of some biomarkers in individuals with early stage of OA, the large overlap with control subjects indicates that the current biomarkers used alone have limited diagnostic potential. However, the combination of specific biomarkers seems to improve the prediction of disease progression at the individual level. Several types of treatment have been investigated but the lack of drugs with definitive chondroprotective activity has limited the assessment of the potential role of biomarkers for monitoring patients’ responses to the treatment of OA (Rousseau and Garnero 2012).

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