The work from groups within the BTCure consortium (and others) has recently shown that very different genetic, environmental and thus molecular events are needed to trigger different subsets of the disease. Our aim is to develop an understanding of the early process in arthritis subsets that will enable us to develop precise and eventually curative treatments to be used before irreversible destruction and loss of joint function and mobility have occurred in patients.
The BTCure project will develop new diagnostic methods to discover the early forms of RA and RA-like diseases and new tools to differentiate the different forms of RA and RA-like diseases, where different molecular mechanisms are involved and where different therapies may be required.
To achieve these goals, samples from biobanks will be analysed in vitro and models will be aligned with different variants of human arthritis. In addition, new models will be established using similar molecular pathways as the relevant human arthritis subsets, leading to the understanding of the etiology and early pathology of the disease for a program aimed at early and curative treatment of RA and RA-like diseases. A major focus of these efforts will be to understand and subsequently alter the adaptive immune reactions in patients from a disease-inducing mode into either a protective mode against the disease or become asymptomatic. Advances made through initial research into the pathology of this group of diseases have been successful, given enough information available on the nature and regulation of disease-inducing and disease-protective immunity. With these tools at hand, we will be able to use new understanding of aetiology and early pathology of human disease for a program aimed at early and ultimately curative treatment of human RA and RA-like diseases.