Pediatrics

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Research

Research in pediatric rheumatology is a fast-changing field, and pediatric rheumatology offers opportunities to participate in research studies of several types. As new medications are developed and tested in adults, they require further research before they can be given to children with similar diseases. Such pharmacologic trials or drug trials are one category of research done through pediatric rheumatology at IU School of Medicine.

Pediatric rheumatologists conduct post-market, observational research studies, known as registries, that monitor long-term outcomes of children taking approved medications over the course of several years. Data from these registries help to identify benefits and rare safety issues that are only seen years after a medication is begun. This information provides insight to optimal care of each individual patient. This pediatrics specialty area also studies various biomarkers (such as blood test results or other characteristics of a disease) that may help predict an individual child’s response to a medication.

Regardless of the study design, the protocols are often very specific and enroll only a narrow range of research volunteers such as children in a certain age group, those with an unusual variant of juvenile arthritis, or with a particular type of kidney involvement in lupus.

Ethical Recruitment

The pediatric rheumatology team works to ensure that no patient or family feels pressure to participate in research and follows the highest ethical standards throughout the consent process and throughout the research experience. Research participation is strictly voluntary, and every individual has the right to participate and to decline.

Current Studies

Studies in progress through the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at IU School of Medicine include a range of topic areas.

Funding – NIH, Lupus Foundation of America, Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. Aim: To identify major hormonal triggers to flare in lupus disease activity and the molecular pathways by which they occur after hormone changes during natural puberty in childhood SLE. Principal Investigator: K. M. O’Neil, MD. Closed.

Funding – CARRA. Aim: to test the utility of a potential urine biomarker of renal inflammation (glomerulonephritis) in children and adolescents with systemic lupus erythematosus. Principal Investigator: K. M. O’Neil, MD. Enrolling.

Funding – Bristol Meyers Squibb, Inc. Sponsored by PRCSG (Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group). Aim: To identify long term outcomes, efficacy and safety of abatacept treatment for JIA. Principal Investigator: K. M. O’Neil, MD. Enrolling.

Funding – Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Sponsored by CARRA. Aim: To better understand the clinical manifestations of systemic vasculitis in childhood and to find best treatment practices. Principal Investigator: K. M. O’Neil, MD. Enrolling.

Riley at IU Health participates in this multicenter research study, which is housed at Duke University. This registry represents an ongoing effort that will be used to answer pressing questions about the current medicines used to treat pediatric rheumatic conditions. For more information on The CARRA Registry, please contact department research coordinator Mariah Boncek at 317.274.2172.

This is an extension of the CARRA Registry. FROST is specifically for patients who are newly diagnosed with systemic JIA. The goal of the study is compare and determine the effectiveness of treatment strategies in the early stages of treatment intervention.

This is an extension of the CARRA Registry. STOP-JIA is specifically for patients who are newly diagnosed with polyarticular JIA. The goal of the study is compare and determine the effectiveness of treatment strategies in the early stages of treatment intervention.

Funding – NIH. Aim: The purpose of this multicenter national study is to understand responses to different medications for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Site Principal Investigator: K. M. O’Neil, MD. Closed to enrollment.

Funding – Pfizer Inc. Aim: To determine the safety and efficacy of a liquid suspension of tofacitinib in treating polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Principal Investigator: S. E. Tarvin, MD, MSc.

Funding – UCB Inc. Aim: To establish safety and efficacy of certolizumab pegol in the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Principal Investigator: S. E. Tarvin, MD, MSc. Closed to enrollment.