Newswise — The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) will hold its annual State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium (SOTA) in Chicago, IL, on April 13-15, which features groundbreaking rheumatology research and roundtable discussions. The weekend will open with a highly anticipated lecture from  Dr. Judith A. James, MD, PhD, member and program chair at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, entitled “Precision Medicine in Rheumatology: Dawn of a New Era.”

Precision medicine has garnered interest among rheumatologists because of its personalized approach to treating difficult-to-manage conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Proponents highlight precision medicine’s ability to assess individual factors that contribute to immune responses. Benefits include earlier diagnosis of rheumatic conditions and the ability to design customized treatment plans for patients. 

“Precision medicine is unique in its approach as it takes into account a patient’s phenotype, genetics, biomarkers, environment and lifestyle,” said Dr. Meenakshi Jolly, MD, MS, professor and director of Rush Lupus Clinic and chair of the ACR’s SOTA Planning Committee. “Identification of biomarkers and biologic targets may facilitate selection of favorable treatment options, prediction of prognosis and outcomes. While the use of precision medicine is not currently the standard of care in rheumatology, it seems we’re headed in that direction with the advances happening in disciplines such as oncology.”

In addition to the opening lecture, SOTA will feature recent research on conditions such as axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and scleroderma. The session on hydroxychloroquine toxicity has generated interest among rheumatologists due to recent changes in dosing guidelines. Members of the SOTA Planning Committee also anticipate high attendance at the session discussing platelet rich plasma, stem cell and prolotherapy as treatment options for osteoarthritis.

Attendees will have access to 18 lectures and may choose from 15 unique topics in breakfast and lunch roundtable sessions.

“SOTA provides for very focused, practical and patient care related talks, with an opportunity to engage with the speaker after each session,” said Jolly. “The symposium is not only a good opportunity to learn and network, but also to visit the city and experience its food and famous attractions. For those unable to travel to Chicago, or who prefer to learn from the comfort of their homes, this year’s conference will be live-streamed.”

Live and on-demand streaming content will be accessible via the ACR Beyond platform. Those interested in attending SOTA can register on the ACR website until March 28. Complimentary registration is available to eligible members of the press, who may attend sessions on-site or cover them remotely. To view the full SOTA schedule and to register, please visit the event page.


About the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing over 9,600 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. For more information, visit

Meeting Link: 2018 ACR State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium