Following a record-breaking meeting last year in San Francisco, final preparations are in full swing for the 2016 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, Nov. 11-16 in Washington, D.C., and what promises to be another outstanding week of learning and networking with rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals from around the world.
With more than 1,000 expert speakers and 450 sessions covering the most important topics and issues in the science and clinical practice of rheumatology, the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) has designed a broad program with something for everyone, according to AMPC Chair Richard F. Loeser, Jr., MD.
To help attendees identify the sessions that best meet their needs, the program is divided into four primary tracks—Clinical Science, Basic Science, Clinical Practice, and Business/Administration—as well as sub-tracks designed to provide discipline-specific and practice-focused educational opportunities.
“The ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting is the world’s premier rheumatology meeting, not only because it’s the largest, but also because it provides the best and most comprehensive balance of clinical and research topics of interest to the diverse audience of physicians, allied health professionals, and scientists who come to the meeting,” Dr. Loeser said. “As we continue to see tremendous advances in the treatment and management of rheumatic diseases, the Annual Meeting is often where we hear about them first.”
With that in mind, Dr. Loeser recommends kicking off your Annual Meeting experience by attending the always-popular Year in Review session, which will take place on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 AM.
“This session is a great way to get started and get an overview of the most important advances and the most important papers that were published in the field over the last year,” Dr. Loeser said. “It’s a good preview of what will likely be some of the hottest topics at the meeting.”
The use of stem cells to treat various conditions in rheumatology, for example, is one of the topics that Dr. Loeser expects to generate a lot of discussion. Among the sessions covering current stem cell research, he encourages attendees to check out What Is the Science Behind Mesenchymal Stem Cells Therapy in Arthritis? at 8:30 AM on Sunday and Mechanical Cues Determine Mesenchymal Stem Cell Fate: Can Exercise Improve Osteoporosis? on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 4:30 PM.
“Another area of growing interest is the microbiome and its relationship to autoimmunity and rheumatic diseases,” Dr. Loeser said. “A terrific session on Sunday afternoon (4:30 PM), Autoimmunity and the Microbiome, will highlight current research on the role of gut bacteria in the development of rheumatic diseases and the potential for new therapies.”
In what promises to be a lively and informative exchange of differing viewpoints, Dr. Loeser said the panel of experts for this year’s Great Debate: To Taper or Not to Taper? Biologic DMARDs in Low Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease, will tackle the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis patients in remission and whether to adjust their medication dosage or even withdraw treatment entirely. The Great Debate will take place on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2:30 PM. Another session covering a topic of broad interest and one that will have a significant impact on clinical practice, New ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria for ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: Implications for Clinical Practice, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 AM.
“From basic science, clinical science, TechMed courses, career enhancement education, and interactive discussions on improving patient care, the planning committee, with invaluable input from ACR and ARHP members, has done an extraordinary job putting together a program featuring the latest advances in understanding and managing rheumatic diseases,” Dr. Loeser said. “I look forward to seeing you this fall in Washington, D.C.”
For more information and to register for the Annual Meeting visit ACRannualmeeting.org.