Rockford Clinic participating in world’s largest arthritis study

Rockford Clinic participating in world’s largest arthritis study


Rockford Clinic is now enrolling patients in TARGET, the largest medical study ever undertaken to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of a new investigational COX-2 inhibitor for osteoarthritis.

TARGET (Therapeutic Arthritis Research & Gastrointestinal Event Trial) will enroll more than 18,000 patients at more than 800 sites worldwide. This study is designed to evaluate efficacy and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety to determine whether the investigational drug causes serious side effects. The study will compare the investigational compound with two well-known anti-arthritis medications, naproxen and ibuprofen, in patients who may or may not take daily low-dose aspirin to help prevent heart attack and stroke.

“The TARGET study is the first trial to examine the cardiovascular safety of a new arthritis medication prior to regulatory submission, and that allows patients to take daily low-dose aspirin for prevention of heart attack and stroke,” says Fred Dietz, M.D., a board-certified rheumatologist at Rockford Clinic.

Study participants will receive free study-related care during the year-long trial, including periodic physician office visits, study medication, laboratory tests and electrocardiograms. Participants must be 50 or older and experiencing symptoms of osteoarthritis for three months or more.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and causes deterioration of cartilage that results in joint pain, tenderness and stiffness. The most frequent sites of OA are the hip, knee, hand, spine, neck and lower back. Aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen are commonly used to treat chronic pain in osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that osteoarthritis affects 20.7 million Americans. Most sufferers are older than 45, and women are affected more often than men. More than 7 million physician visits are attributed to OA care annually. In addition, musculoskeletal conditions such as OA cost the U.S. economy nearly $65 billion a year in direct expenses, lost wages and decreased productivity.

To participate in this study, contact the Rockford Clinic Department of Clinical Research at (815) 971-2441.

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