17th Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR) Congress

APLAR 2015 Report
by Ma. Theresa M. Collante, MD

The Philippines was truly fortunate to be declared the host of the 16th Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology Congress (APLAR) on March 31 to April 4, 2014, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu, Philippines.

This year, the 17th APLAR Congress took place in the colorful and vibrant city of Chennai, India, on September 6-9, 2015. Spearheaded by APLAR President Prof. Kevin Pile and Chairman of the Organizing Committee APLAR 2015 Dr. Venkataraman Krishnamurthy, the meeting carried the theme “Integrating the Science & Art of Rheumatology.”
The Pre-Congress workshops and meetings on September 5-6, 2015 included Musculoskeletal Workshop, Immunology for the Rheumatologists, IRA-APLAR Review Course, and Extremity MRI.
The first day of the congress, September 7, covered Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spondyloarthropathies, and Pediatric Rheumatology Cases. For the concurrent symposia on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Prof. Sandra Teresa V. Navarra, Head of Section of Rheumatology of the University of Santo Tomas Hospital (USTH), gave a well-received lecture on “Infection Risk and Prevention in Lupus.” She was also part of the lunch symposium on Rheumatoid Arthritis with the lecture “Biologics in Rheumatic Diseases in Asia: Real World Data.”

I was also able to present my case report, co-authored by Dr. Christine B. Bernal, Chief and and Training Officer of USTH Section of Pediatric Rheumatology, entitled “Normal-pressure hydrocephalus as a presenting manifestation of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in a nine year old Filipino female.”

The second day of the congress, September 8, focused on Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, Vasculitis, and Biosimilars, as well as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. During the oral presentation, Prof. Navarra presented her study “Secukinumab improves signs and symptoms of active psoriatic arthritis in Asian patients: pooled results from two phase 3 trials,” while Dr. Lyndon John L. Llamado, Training Officer of the USTH Section of Rheumatology, presented his study “Etanercept-DMARD induction therapy in active Rheumatoid Arthritis: Interim treat-to-target study results from Asia.
The last day of the APLAR congress discussed SLE, Rheumatologic Emergencies, Biologics, and Pediatric Rheumatology topics which included Kawasaki Disease, Pediatric Lupus, and Juvenile Dermatomyositis. The successful meeting closed with a lecture on Expansive Rheumatology, looking forward to APLAR 2016 in Shanghai, China.

APLAR spearheads the fight against arthritis. APLAR’s mission and goals focus on providing state of the art care to patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases through continuing professional development of members, increasing the awareness and understanding about rheumatic diseases, patient advocacy and empowerment, and fostering research in the field of rheumatic diseases.