Osteoarthritis is likely to be the most common chronic disease in the Netherlands by 2040. Currently, almost 1.5 million people in the Netherlands have osteoarthritis. The nature and extent of the symptoms may vary, but they always have an impact on daily life. Osteoarthritis progresses differently for everyone, which calls for tailor-made treatment. To provide that as well as possible, insight into the characteristics of the person and the disease process is needed. Until now, that insight has been lacking. But this is about to change thanks to the subsidised research efforts of a unique partnership.
Researchers from the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Clinical Movement Sciences & Technology (ICMS) will start project TopTreat in November. They will follow 500 people with osteoarthritis over the next five years and comprehensively map their characteristics. The aim is to gain insight into who qualifies for which treatment. Because the diversity among people with osteoarthritis is so great, a universal treatment is not effective for everyone.
It is the first time that the different manifestations of osteoarthritis are measured with advanced technology and collected in a platform. The aim is to accurately map how people with osteoarthritis feel, how they move, how their disease develops and which medicine is most effective for whom. Because physical, psychological and social factors all play a role in health, the researchers are looking at the whole spectrum, from cell to well-being, and are conducting the study in consultation with the patients themselves. The insights from the study make it possible to optimally tailor treatment to the person with osteoarthritis.
The research includes existing technologies such as 'joint-on-a-chip', accurate measurements of substances in the body that are an indicator of the disease (biomarkers), analysis of movement with sensors, and making computer models of joint movement and load on cartilage. In doing so, the researchers aim to understand and capture specific characteristics of people with osteoarthritis. Based on these insights, practitioners can determine the most promising treatment for their patients.
Besides people with advanced osteoarthritis, two groups at increased risk of osteoarthritis formation will also participate in the study. These are those with a broken or removed meniscus or leg amputation.
TopTreat is of great importance for progress in the care of people with osteoarthritis. Moreover, the project is expected to develop a patentable technology platform that can be quickly translated into more applications in healthcare. With this ambitious project, ICMS aims to maximise clinical and societal progress.
The Interdisciplinary Consortium for Clinical Movement Sciences & Technology (ICMS) is a unique partnership between RadboudUMC, Sint Maartenskliniek, Roessingh Research and Development and the TechMed Centre at the University of Twente. In TopTreat, these partners work together with ReumaNederland, the companies ATRO Medical and Moveshelf, the Sint Maartenskliniek Rheumatism Foundation, the Twente Graduate School and the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Together with funding from the Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation High-tech Systems & Materials, the project involves about EUR 4.8 million.