“When I was a medical student, there were few effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and connective tissue diseases. Using painkillers and steroids to provide symptomatic relief was the main approach to treatment. When I chose to specialize in this field, I was driven by a desire to shed light on the many mysteries that surround this condition. Little did I know that before long, there would be a major shift in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.”
“For patients who have been diagnosed in the last 20 years, severe joint destruction is now almost nonexistent. There has also been a significant decrease in the number of cases that require surgical treatment. Japan’s rheumatology care, which used to lag behind other advanced countries by about 5 to 10 years in terms of approval for therapeutic drugs, has completely caught up over the past 20 years, to the point where now some medications are approved in Japan before anywhere else.”
Yuko Kaneko graduated from the Keio University School of Medicine in 1997 and joined the school’s Division of Rheumatology in 2004. In 2006, Prof. Kaneko was appointed as an assistant professor at the Center for Clinical Research (now the Clinical and Translational Research Center). After a year studying abroad at the University of Oxford in 2018, she was appointed as an associate professor at the Division of Rheumatology in the Department of Internal Medicine. She has held her current position of full professor since 2021. Her recent publications include the Golden Handbook of Rheumatology, which she co-authored.