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STOP-JIA Press Release

March 2016

The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), Inc. announced today that the first two patients had enrolled in the Start Time Optimization in Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (STOP-JIA) project. STOP-JIA aims to answer a critical question facing patients and doctors: “When is the best time to start biologic medications in polyarticular JIA?”

JIA is the most common pediatric rheumatic condition, affecting 1 to 4 in every 1000 children. More than half of affected children have a polyarticular form affecting many joints, and suffer worse outcomes and compromised quality of life. Symptoms of JIA include, but are not limited to joint pain, swelling and stiffness.

In STOP-JIA, patients, families, and their doctors will discuss and select one of 3 treatment plans developed and commonly used by pediatric rheumatologists which differ in the timing of when biologics are started. Patients will also contribute by answering surveys related to quality of life and burden of the disease and its treatments.

The first two of an anticipated 400 patients were enrolled, from the University of Wisconsin-American Family Children’s Hospital by Anna Huttenlocher, MD, and from the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.

“The results of this 3-year study will be a critical step forward in defining how to treat JIA and will change clinical practice.” said Yukiko Kimura, MD, Principal Investigator, Professor, Hackensack University Medical Center.

“We look forward to sharing the results of the study which we hope will fill important knowledge gaps to enable us to make informed medication decisions for desired health outcomes for our children,” saidVincent Del Gaizo, a father of a patient with JIA, and a key member of the STOP-JIA study team. Stakeholder engagement is a major component of the STOP-JIA project.

The STOP-JIA study was made possible by an award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). For video information about the study, please visit: or for study details, visit:


CARRA is an organization of more than 440 pediatric rheumatologists, researchers, and research coordinators and includes 95% of all pediatric rheumatologists/sites in North America. Founded in in 2002, CARRA operates as a nonprofit organization. CARRA has partnered with the Arthritis Foundation ( to align their scientific agendas and expand research in the fight against juvenile arthritis and other pediatric rheumatic disease. See for more information.