Random House, Inc. As a biologist with more than thirty years of experience teaching a wide range of complex biomedical subjects and a person who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) himself, Dr. Thomas F. Lee is ideally suited to write a book that addresses the vital questions about the nature of the disease and the rationale behind its treatment. This is the only book that explains in layperson's terms the newest available therapies and the latest advances in our understanding of this often debilitating disease. These new insights have led to many molecular-based approaches already in clinical trial, and many more are waiting in the wings. All of these exciting developments are the result of the ongoing biotechnological revolution and a new understanding of the immune system aided by genetic research. Over two million people in this country suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a debilitating autoimmune disease that ravages the delicate lining of the joints. As in other autoimmune diseases, instead of defending against foreign invaders, the immune system inexplicably attacks healthy tissue. RA causes systemic effects as well; not only are joints painful, through the destruction of bone and cartilage, but there is often accompanying fatigue, decreased appetite, depression, and muscle pain. Dr. Lee not only supplies you with the latest facts on the discoveries about the disease, but he also provides numerous Web sites so that readers can follow this important story as it unfolds.