APLAR 2021 preview

5 minute read

Beamed live from Kyoto, the APLAR 2021 congress features a packed program with international big names and plenty of Australian contributions.

Highlights and Australian contributions to the APLAR 2021 congress.

With a packed program and international big names presenting, APLAR 2021 promises attendees a “high-impact congress” with “world-class research, scientific and medical content”. This year’s hybrid event is being held in Kyoto and live online, starting with some pre-congress workshops on Saturday 28 August and the main program kicking off on Sunday 29 August.


Some sessions to watch out for:

APLAR 2021 clinical practice guidelines on gout management and treatment [Sunday 14:15-15:55 AEST]. After a background briefing on methodology and overarching principles, presentations and recommendations will cover non-pharmacologic treatment; asymptomatic hyperuricemia, acute gout, urate-lowering therapy, prophylaxis and chronic tophaceous gout and refractory gout.

OA: Updates on management and therapeutics [Sunday 16:55-18:35 AEST] including risk factors and management, and update on future therapeutics.

ACR – APLAR invited session, with Jeffrey Curtis on “known knowns and known unknowns” about covid vax in RMD patients; Philip Mease on progress in SLE; and Lorinda Chung on racial differences in systemic sclerosis [Monday 8:30-9:50 AEST].

Recent progress in targeted therapy for SLE [Monday 14:15-15:55 AEST] including B-directed therapies, interferon inhibition and future directions in management.

COVID-19 in RMDs: Where are we now? The European Experience [Monday 15:45-17:25 AEST] including the EULAR COVID-19 and COVAX databases; pathogenesis and therapy with rheumatic drugs in covid; and vaccine immune response – OCTAVE study.

Australian presentations


Associate Professor Andrew Ostor – From Evidence to Experience: Practical Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis with JAK Inhibitors [Lunch industry symposium 1 on JAK inhibitors and RA – Sunday]

Physiotherapist Ms Carolyn Page – Management of OA in Australia [OA updates on management and therapeutics – Sunday]

Professor Peter Nash – Effect of Secukinumab versus Adalimumab on ACR Core Components and Health-related Quality of Life in patients with Psoriatic Arthritis: Results from the EXCEED study [Axial spondyloarthritis: from bench to bed side – Sunday]

Dr Khalid Almutairi – The Temporal Association Between Hospital Admissions, DMARD Usage and Direct Health Care Costs in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients [Abstract session 2 – Sunday] and The Influence of Comorbidity on Mortality in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis 1980-2015: A Longitudinal Population-based Study in Western Australia [Abstract session 3 – Sunday]

Professor Peter Youssef Benefits of Switching from IV to SC Infliximab [Morning industry symposium 5: The Present and Future: Expending Experience with Infliximab Biosimilar – Monday]

Professor Eric Morand – Interferon inhibition [Recent progress in targeted therapy for SLE – Monday]

Professor David Hunter Disease modification in osteoarthritis: stem cells and beyond [Cartilage diseases – OA and beyond – Monday]

Dr Benny Antony Credible evidence for complementary and integrative therapies in OA [Cartilage diseases – OA and beyond – Monday]

Dr Laila Girgis – Update on autologous haematopoeitic stem cell transplant in systemic sclerosis [Updates on systemic sclerosis and myositis symposium – Monday]

Dr Vidya Limaye – Updates on immune mediated necrotising myopathy [Updates on systemic sclerosis and myositis symposium – Monday]

Dr Helen Keen – Ultrasound and its clinical use in Sjogren syndrome [Image in rheumatic diseases: what does the future hold? – Tuesday]

Dr Rebecca James – Juvenile Lupus in the Indigenous populations of the Pacific region [Childhood rheumatic diseases in Asia Pacific: challenges & solutions – Tuesday]

And we have UK-based Australians Professor Philip Conaghan and Professor Matthew Brown:

Professor Conaghan is presenting Update on future therapeutics in OA treatment in the Sunday session on OA updates on management and therapeutics.

Professor Brown is presenting Using genomics to dissect the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis in the Monday session on Elucidation immune-related disease aetiology using trans-omics analysis.


Professor Geoffrey Littlejohn (Monash University)
– Optimising Patient outcomes in Australian Rheumatology (OPAL): using real-world clinical data to enhance clinical care and research.
– Treatment Patterns of b/tsDMARDs for the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Australia: an Analysis of the OPAL Dataset

Dr Emily Martin (Austin Health)
Association of Search Query Interest in Fibromyalgia and Its Symptoms During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Australia: an Infodemiology Study

Dr Cameron Adams (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)
Factors associated with an increased length of stay during an acute gout attack requiring hospitalisation

Professor Peter Nash (Griffith University)
– Guselkumab-Treated PsA Patients Achieved Clinically Meaningful Improvements in General Health Outcomes Measured with PROMIS-29 Through 52 Weeks in DISCOVER-1 Trial
– Guselkumab Treatment Shows Rapid Onset of Effect on Components of ACR Response Criteria: Results of 2 Randomized Phase 3 Trials

Dr Georgia Harris (Austin Health)
– Patient Perspectives in Polymyalgia Rheumatica
– Polymyalgia Rheumatica – Real World Experiences in a Single Tertiary Centre

Dr Arupam Raman (Wollongong Hospital)
Evaluating the perceptions of junior doctors and final year medical students in managing acute lower back pain

Dr Yumi Oh (Queensland Health)
Retrospective study of prevalence and type of infection in patients with renal ANCA-associated vasculitis and their risk factors

Dr Victor Yang (Austin Health)
– Seasonal pattern in GCA onset in an Australian cohort
– Delayed presentation before GCA diagnosis is not associated with greater visual morbidity

Tell us your APLAR highlight

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When APLAR is over, spend a few minutes filling in our online survey to tell us which was your standout session and why.

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