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Rheumatoid Arthritis Caught Early: investigating biological mechanisms preceding chronification of joint inflammation to identify patients prior to presentation of classic chronic arthritis

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 RACE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the RACE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "RACE" about.

systemic    intersectorial    data    inflammation    auto    suppressive    predictive    thanks    presentation    antibody    csa    preventive    world    model    disease    chronic    trajectories    overarching    relationships    molecular    longitudinal    arthritis    antibodies    engineers    requiring    mri    horizons    ra    classic    serial    secreting    group    time    humoral    cells    diagnosis    local    clinic    intend    phases    clinicians    international    cellular    rheumatoid    basic    serially    integrate    predict    identification    prediction    national    translate    reflecting    multidisciplinary    lastly    patients    boundary    markers    rule    suspect    recognition    joint    causes    validate    progression    aided    subclinical    feasible    position    reveal    validated    inhibiting    delineate    mechanistic    scientists    preparatory    clinically    interventions    cross    forefront    techniques    imminent    interactions    prevent    clinical    treatment    disability    arthralgia    separate    persisting    evident    insights    immune    image    computer    combined    cohorts    detect    validation    lasting   

Project "RACE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LEIDEN
postcode: 2333 ZA

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2022-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    ACADEMISCH ZIEKENHUIS LEIDEN NL (LEIDEN) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) causes long lasting disability. At the time of clinically evident arthritis and diagnosis, the disease is already persisting, requiring long-term suppressive treatment. My overarching aim is to prevent chronic arthritis and RA by inhibiting the evolving auto-immune response in a pre-arthritis phase. Currently, identification of RA-patients before the classic presentation with clinically evident chronic arthritis is beyond the state of the art. I here aim to achieve this early recognition by increasing the mechanistic understanding of pre-arthritis phases. I intend to study RA-specific auto-immune responses at the cellular and humoral level as well as markers reflecting local and systemic inflammation. These aspects are selected based on my world-wide validated rule to predict RA-development in early arthritis and on recent work on progression from Clinically Suspect Arthralgia (CSA) to clinical arthritis.

This project is now finally feasible, thanks to unique ‘pre-RA’ cohorts and cross-boundary preparatory work done with basic scientists, clinicians and engineers. My research concept is to integrate the products of separate trajectories in a longitudinal study and translate it to the clinic.

Patients with CSA will be studied serially in time. Using validated methods and novel techniques and insights we will: delineate molecular and predictive features of RA-specific auto-antibodies and auto-antibody secreting B-cells, identify improved markers of systemic inflammation and test and validate a computer-aided image analysis system to detect subclinical joint inflammation on MRI. Serial data will be combined to reveal interactions between markers and time relationships. Lastly a prediction model identifying imminent RA will be developed. The forefront position of my group allows national and international validation.

Together, this multidisciplinary and intersectorial project will open new horizons for preventive, targeted interventions.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Aleid C Boer, Debbie M Boeters, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
The use of MRI-detected synovitis to determine the number of involved joints for the 2010 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis – is it of additional benefit?
published pages: annrheumdis-2018, ISSN: 0003-4967, DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213143
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2019-05-22
2019 Sarah Ohrndorf, Aleid C. Boer, Debbie M. Boeters, Robin M. ten Brinck, Gerd-R. Burmester, Marion C. Kortekaas, Annette H. M. van der Helm-van Mil
Do musculoskeletal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging identify synovitis and tenosynovitis at the same joints and tendons? A comparative study in early inflammatory arthritis and clinically suspect arthralgia
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-019-1824-z
Arthritis Research & Therapy 21/1 2019-05-22
2018 L. E. Burgers, D. M. Boeters, M. Reijnierse, A. H. M. van der Helm-van Mil
Does the presence of magnetic resonance imaging-detected osteitis at diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis lower the risk for achieving disease-modifying antirheumatic drug-free sustained remission: results of a longitudinal study
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-018-1553-8
Arthritis Research & Therapy 20/1 2019-05-22
2018 Robin M ten Brinck, Bastiaan T van Dijk, Hanna W van Steenbergen, Saskia le Cessie, Mattijs E Numans, Samantha L Hider, Christian Mallen, Annette van der Helm-van Mil
Development and validation of a clinical rule for recognition of early inflammatory arthritis
published pages: e023552, ISSN: 2044-6055, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023552
BMJ Open 8/11 2019-05-22
2017 Robin M. ten Brinck, Hanna W. van Steenbergen, Myrthe A. M. van Delft, Marije K. Verheul, Rene E. M. Toes, Leendert A. Trouw, Annette H. M. van der Helm – van Mil
The risk of individual autoantibodies, autoantibody combinations and levels for arthritis development in clinically suspect arthralgia
published pages: 2145-2153, ISSN: 1462-0324, DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex340
Rheumatology 56/12 2019-05-22
2018 Aleid C Boer, Tom W J Huizinga, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
Depression and anxiety associate with less remission after 1 year in rheumatoid arthritis
published pages: e1-e1, ISSN: 0003-4967, DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212867
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 78/1 2019-05-22
2018 Aleid C. Boer, Annelies Boonen, Annette H. M. van der Helm van Mil
Is Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody-Positive Rheumatoid Arthritis Still a More Severe Disease Than Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody-Negative Rheumatoid Arthritis? A Longitudinal Cohort Study in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Diagnosed From 2000 Onwar
published pages: 987-996, ISSN: 2151-464X, DOI: 10.1002/acr.23497
Arthritis Care & Research 70/7 2019-05-22
2018 Debbie M. Boeters, Leendert A. Trouw, Annette H. M. van der Helm-van Mil, Hanna W. van Steenbergen
Does information on novel identified autoantibodies contribute to predicting the progression from undifferentiated arthritis to rheumatoid arthritis: a study on anti-CarP antibodies as an example
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-018-1591-2
Arthritis Research & Therapy 20/1 2019-05-22
2018 Aleid C. Boer, Robin M. ten Brinck, Andrea W. M. Evers, Annette H. M. van der Helm-van Mil
Does psychological stress in patients with clinically suspect arthralgia associate with subclinical inflammation and progression to inflammatory arthritis?
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-018-1587-y
Arthritis Research & Therapy 20/1 2019-05-22
2018 R. M. ten Brinck, H. W. van Steenbergen, A. H. M. van der Helm–van Mil
Sequence of joint tissue inflammation during rheumatoid arthritis development
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-018-1756-z
Arthritis Research & Therapy 20/1 2019-05-22
2018 Yousra J Dakkak, Désirée M van der Heijde, Monique Reijnierse, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
Validity of the rheumatoid arthritis MRI score applied to the forefeet using the OMERACT filter: a systematic literature review
published pages: e000796, ISSN: 2056-5933, DOI: 10.1136/rmdopen-2018-000796
RMD Open 4/2 2019-05-22
2018 Leonie E Burgers, Robin M ten Brinck, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
Is joint pain in patients with arthralgia suspicious for progression to rheumatoid arthritis explained by subclinical inflammation? A cross-sectional MRI study
published pages: 86-93, ISSN: 1462-0324, DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/key220
Rheumatology 58/1 2019-05-22
2018 R. M. ten Brinck, R. E. M. Toes, A. H. M. van der Helm–van Mil
Inflammation functions as a key mediator in the link between ACPA and erosion development: an association study in Clinically Suspect Arthralgia
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-018-1574-3
Arthritis Research & Therapy 20/1 2019-05-22
2019 Y. J. Dakkak, D. M. Boeters, A. C. Boer, M. Reijnierse, A. H. M. van der Helm-van Mil
What is the additional value of MRI of the foot to the hand in undifferentiated arthritis to predict rheumatoid arthritis development?
published pages: , ISSN: 1478-6362, DOI: 10.1186/s13075-019-1845-7
Arthritis Research & Therapy 21/1 2019-05-22
2018 Debbie M Boeters, Wouter P Nieuwenhuis, Hanna W van Steenbergen, Monique Reijnierse, Robert B M Landewé, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
Are MRI-detected erosions specific for RA? A large explorative cross-sectional study
published pages: annrheumdis-2017, ISSN: 0003-4967, DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212252
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2019-05-22
2018 Debbie M Boeters, Aleid C Boer, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
Evaluation of the predictive accuracy of MRI-detected erosions in hand and foot joints in patients with undifferentiated arthritis
published pages: 144-146, ISSN: 0003-4967, DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-213851
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 78/1 2019-05-22
2017 Debbie M Boeters, Karim Raza, Annette H M vander Helm-van Mil
Which patients presenting with arthralgia eventually develop rheumatoid arthritis? The current state of the art
published pages: e000479, ISSN: 2056-5933, DOI: 10.1136/rmdopen-2017-000479
RMD Open 3/2 2019-05-22
2017 Hanna W. van Steenbergen, José A. Pereira da Silva, Tom W. J. Huizinga, Annette H. M. van der Helm-van Mil
Preventing progression from arthralgia to arthritis: targeting the right patients
published pages: 32-41, ISSN: 1759-4790, DOI: 10.1038/nrrheum.2017.185
Nature Reviews Rheumatology 14/1 2019-05-22
2018 Robin M ten Brinck, Hanna W van Steenbergen, Annette H M van der Helm-van Mil
Development of clinically apparent synovitis: a longitudinal study at the joint level during progression to inflammatory arthritis
published pages: e000748, ISSN: 2056-5933, DOI: 10.1136/rmdopen-2018-000748
RMD Open 4/2 2019-05-22

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