Global Approaches To Improved Treatments And Understanding Of Myositis
The International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group (IMACS) is a coalition of health care providers and researchers with experience and interest in the myositis syndromes. The goals of IMACS are to improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from myositis by discovering better therapies through understanding the causes of these diseases. IMACS members work to achieve these goals by developing consensus and standards on the conduct and reporting of adult and juvenile myositis studies, performing collaborative therapeutic trials and by planning, facilitating, and conducting international collaborative myositis research.
IMACS is a consortium of clinical and basic researchers, patient support group leaders, and pharma representatives from around the globe, and is tackling research projects and scientific areas. IMACS has developed and validated core set disease measures, response criteria for adult and juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis, consensus in the conduct of clinical trial design, new classification criteria for myositis, and cancer-screening guidelines for myositis, leading to international consensus in these areas and facilitating therapeutic trials of targeted biologic therapies in patients with adult and juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis. IMACS has been recognized for its multidisciplinary and international collaborative efforts in receiving the 2019 Global Genes Rare Champion of Hope Award for Research Collaboration.
IMACS members have many opportunities for participation, including:
- Annual meetings
- Myositis Mentoring Program, open to trainees and faculty within 10 years of training completion
- Participation in IMACS committees, elections and surveys
- Scientific Interest Groups and collaborative Research Projects, which have undergone scientific peer review
- Use of IMACS website resource, including:
- A database of myositis databases open to members for collaborative research
- Archive of meeting slides and newsletters
- Myositis Assessment Tool training materials and certificate program
- Myositis Community Bulletin Board
- Searchable member directory
- Use of IMACS outcome repository and data dictionary of IMACS tools to facilitate common databases, data sharing
- Use of web calculators and programs for Myositis Response Criteria and Classification criteria
The administrative arm of IMACS is housed in offices of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. This facility is the world's largest clinical research complex, serving a dual role: providing humane and healing patient care as well as the environment clinical researchers need to advance clinical science.
The Clinical Center complex is part of the NIH's intramural science research program. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the medical research agency of the U.S Government.
This is the public website for IMACS. If you are already a member, you may wish to visit the members website on the NIEHS Extranet.
If you are not a member yet and would like to be one, please go to the IMACS Membership webpage.
News & Events
2022 was a year of advancement in and recognition of the work of IMACS and IMACS members. Alexander Oldroyd presented the results of the IMACS project on cancer screening guidelines as a plenary abstract presentation at the 2022 ACR Convergence meeting in Philadelphia. Rohit Aggarwal led a team of investigators, many of whom are IMACS members, in the intravenous immunoglobulin trial for dermatomyositis. This landmark trial demonstrated the efficacy of IVIG using the 2016 ACR-EULAR Response Criteria for Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis developed by IMACS, with a publication in the New England Journal of Medicine and resultant licensure of IVIG for the treatment of dermatomyositis.
In 2022, IMACS members also received a number of important recognitions, underscoring the work and accomplishments of IMACS. IMACS Coordinator and co-founder Professor David Isenberg was honored with a Festschrift, highlighting his illustrious career in myositis and lupus research, as he steps back from some of his administrative duties towards the path to retirement. Members of IMACS were honored for their accomplishments, in part in recognition of their leadership roles within IMACS. This included Coordinator Emeritus Frederick Miller and the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center receiving Heroes Awards from The Myositis Association. Lisa Rider, Nicola Ruperto and Daniel Lovell received Awards of Distinction from the American College of Rheumatology, and Didem Saygin was honored with an ACR Distinguished Fellow award. Lisa’s ACR award for Excellence in Investigative Mentoring particularly recognizes the work of IMACS, including the IMACS mentoring program and many accomplishments of IMACS.