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Bruno Stuhlmüller, PhD

Bruno Stuhlmüller, PhD

The right therapy the first time: Bruno Stuhlmüller discusses how he is successfully finding mRNA and miRNA biomarkers from whole blood to help predict the best therapy option for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Personalized medicine research aims to identify molecular biomarkers and translate clinically validated data into improving patient outcomes, defining the right patient treatment the first time, and overall, advancing the standard of care. It is fair to say that to date personalized medicine research has been driven by the oncology field; however, such efforts are not limited to cancer and apply to other complex diseases. In the case of autoimmune chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA)–a systemic disease that has a worldwide prevalence of up to 1-2%-stratifying patients based on specific molecular profiles will help physicians determine the most appropriate treatment pathways to stop longer term progression of this potentially very debilitating disease.

One of the reasons we selected Affymetrix' GeneChip® U133 Plus 2.0 Array is that it is a proven, highly reproducible technology that can be translated into clinical application.

To date, there are no diagnostic tools available to identify the molecular differences between RA patients and to predict an individual's response to therapy. Being unable to administer the right patient treatment the first time can lead to increased healthcare costs and a decrease in the patient's productivity while the disease persists. Dr. Bruno Stuhlmüller and his team at the Charité Free University and Humboldt University in Berlin are tackling the challenge of identifying and validating mRNA and miRNA biomarker signatures that could define the success of various therapy strategies for RA.

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