Objectives of the Project
The present research aims to develop and validate biomarkers whose quantification in temporal artery biopsies (TABs) can predict response to glucocorticoids and tocilizumab in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA) and to stratify patients according to molecular signatures in TABs. Glucocorticoids are the standard of care in GCA but about 40% of patients relapse when glucocorticoids are tapered. Tocilizumab plus glucocorticoids has recently been proven effective at increasing the percentage of GCA patients in remission and sparing glucocorticoids
1) identification of biomarkers in TABs whose quantification allow to predict at diagnosis patients’ response to glucocorticoids and tocilizumab;
2) stratification of GCA patients according to molecular signatures in TABs and correlation of such signatures to the clinical characteristics of patients;
3) validation of the potential predictors and signatures.
The long-term objective is to create the basis for a therapeutic approach in patients with GCA, tailored to molecular characteristics in TABs at diagnosis, aiding physicians to achieve the best outcome in each patients (maximum efficacy with minimal adverse effects) in the shortest time.