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Publication
Journal: The Lancet
October/13/2010
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by persistent synovitis, systemic inflammation, and autoantibodies (particularly to rheumatoid factor and citrullinated peptide). 50% of the risk for development of rheumatoid arthritis is attributable to genetic factors. Smoking is the main environmental risk. In industrialised countries, rheumatoid arthritis affects 0·5-1·0% of adults, with 5-50 per 100 000 new cases annually. The disorder is most typical in women and elderly people. Uncontrolled active rheumatoid arthritis causes joint damage, disability, decreased quality of life, and cardiovascular and other comorbidities. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), the key therapeutic agents, reduce synovitis and systemic inflammation and improve function. The leading DMARD is methotrexate, which can be combined with other drugs of this type. Biological agents are used when arthritis is uncontrolled or toxic effects arise with DMARDs. Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors were the first biological agents, followed by abatacept, rituximab, and tocilizumab. Infections and high costs restrict prescription of biological agents. Long-term remission induced by intensive, short-term treatment selected by biomarker profiles is the ultimate goal.
Publication
Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
April/27/2014
Abstract
In this article, the 2010 European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with synthetic and biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (sDMARDs and bDMARDs, respectively) have been updated. The 2013 update has been developed by an international task force, which based its decisions mostly on evidence from three systematic literature reviews (one each on sDMARDs, including glucocorticoids, bDMARDs and safety aspects of DMARD therapy); treatment strategies were also covered by the searches. The evidence presented was discussed and summarised by the experts in the course of a consensus finding and voting process. Levels of evidence and grades of recommendations were derived and levels of agreement (strengths of recommendations) were determined. Fourteen recommendations were developed (instead of 15 in 2010). Some of the 2010 recommendations were deleted, and others were amended or split. The recommendations cover general aspects, such as attainment of remission or low disease activity using a treat-to-target approach, and the need for shared decision-making between rheumatologists and patients. The more specific items relate to starting DMARD therapy using a conventional sDMARD (csDMARD) strategy in combination with glucocorticoids, followed by the addition of a bDMARD or another csDMARD strategy (after stratification by presence or absence of adverse risk factors) if the treatment target is not reached within 6 months (or improvement not seen at 3 months). Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, biosimilars), abatacept, tocilizumab and, under certain circumstances, rituximab are essentially considered to have similar efficacy and safety. If the first bDMARD strategy fails, any other bDMARD may be used. The recommendations also address tofacitinib as a targeted sDMARD (tsDMARD), which is recommended, where licensed, after use of at least one bDMARD. Biosimilars are also addressed. These recommendations are intended to inform rheumatologists, patients, national rheumatology societies and other stakeholders about EULAR's most recent consensus on the management of RA with sDMARDs, glucocorticoids and bDMARDs. They are based on evidence and expert opinion and intended to improve outcome in patients with RA.
Publication
Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
July/15/2010
Abstract
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may differ among rheumatologists and currently, clear and consensual international recommendations on RA treatment are not available. In this paper recommendations for the treatment of RA with synthetic and biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and glucocorticoids (GCs) that also account for strategic algorithms and deal with economic aspects, are described. The recommendations are based on evidence from five systematic literature reviews (SLRs) performed for synthetic DMARDs, biological DMARDs, GCs, treatment strategies and economic issues. The SLR-derived evidence was discussed and summarised as an expert opinion in the course of a Delphi-like process. Levels of evidence, strength of recommendations and levels of agreement were derived. Fifteen recommendations were developed covering an area from general aspects such as remission/low disease activity as treatment aim via the preference for methotrexate monotherapy with or without GCs vis-à-vis combination of synthetic DMARDs to the use of biological agents mainly in patients for whom synthetic DMARDs and tumour necrosis factor inhibitors had failed. Cost effectiveness of the treatments was additionally examined. These recommendations are intended to inform rheumatologists, patients and other stakeholders about a European consensus on the management of RA with DMARDs and GCs as well as strategies to reach optimal outcomes of RA, based on evidence and expert opinion.
Publication
Journal: The Lancet
October/10/2001
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disorder that mainly affects the diarthrodial joint. It is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, and has a substantial societal effect in terms of cost, disability, and lost productivity. Although the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis remains incompletely understood, much insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved has been gained in the past decade. On the basis of these insights, new therapies have been developed, and clinical trials have shown the efficacy of aggressive treatment of patients with active disease. In this review, we discuss improvements in our understanding of the pathophysiology of inflammatory synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis, and improvements in therapy for patients with the disorder. The past decade has seen substantial advances in these areas. Future studies will be directed at improving methods for early diagnosis and identification of patients with progressive disease, and at improving methods to identify candidates for subclasses of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Long-term safety and efficacy data for the new DMARD agents and combination regimens will also further delineate efficacy and toxicity and thus the appropriate clinical context for use of these therapeutic approaches. The continuing elucidation of pathophysiological pathways relevant in rheumatoid arthritis, coupled with continuing advances in biotechnology and rational drug design, offer substantial hope for the continued development of increasingly potent and specific pharmacotherapy for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
August/3/2006
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To examine the efficacy and safety of different rituximab doses plus methotrexate (MTX), with or without glucocorticoids, in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) resistant to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including biologic agents.
METHODS
A total of 465 patients were randomized into 9 treatment groups: 3 rituximab groups (placebo [n = 149], 500 mg [n = 124], or 1,000 mg [n = 192] on days 1 and 15) each also taking either placebo glucocorticoids, intravenous methylprednisolone premedication, or intravenous methylprednisolone premedication plus oral prednisone for 2 weeks. All patients received MTX (10-25 mg/week); no other DMARDs were permitted.
RESULTS
Significantly more patients who received 2 500-mg or 2 1,000-mg infusions of rituximab met the American College of Rheumatology 20% improvement criteria (achieved an ACR20 response) at week 24 (55% and 54%, respectively) compared with placebo (28%; P < 0.0001). ACR50 responses were achieved by 33%, 34%, and 13% of patients, respectively (P < 0.001), and ACR70 responses were achieved by 13%, 20%, and 5% of patients (P < 0.05). Changes in the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (-1.79, -2.05, -0.67; P < 0.0001) and moderate to good responses on the European League Against Rheumatism criteria (P < 0.0001) reflected the ACR criteria responses. Glucocorticoids did not contribute significantly to the primary efficacy end point, ACR20 response at 24 weeks. Intravenous glucocorticoid premedication reduced the frequency and intensity of first infusion-associated events; oral glucocorticoids conferred no additional safety benefit. Rituximab was well tolerated; the type and severity of infections was similar to those for placebo.
CONCLUSIONS
Both rituximab doses were effective and well tolerated when added to MTX therapy in patients with active RA. The primary end point (ACR20 response) was independent of glucocorticoids, although intravenous glucocorticoid premedication improved tolerability during the first rituximab infusion.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
December/3/2008
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To examine the efficacy and safety of the humanized anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab combined with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
METHODS
A total of 1,220 patients were randomized (2:1 ratio) in the phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter TOWARD (Tocilizumab in Combination With Traditional DMARD Therapy) study. Patients remained on stable doses of DMARDs and received tocilizumab 8 mg/kg or placebo (control group) every 4 weeks for 24 weeks.
RESULTS
At week 24, the proportion of patients achieving a response according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria for 20% improvement (ACR20) was significantly greater in the tocilizumab plus DMARD group than in the control group (61% versus 25%; P<0.0001). Secondary end points including 50% or 70% improvement (ACR50/70), the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28), DAS28 remission responses (DAS28<2.6), European League Against Rheumatism responses, and systemic markers such as the C-reactive protein and hemoglobin levels showed superiority of tocilizumab plus DMARDs over DMARDs alone. Seventy-three percent of patients in the tocilizumab group had>>or=1 adverse event (AE), compared with 61% of patients in the control group. AEs leading to withdrawal from the study were infrequent (4% of patients in the tocilizumab group and 2% of those in the control group). Serious AEs occurred in 6.7% and 4.3% of patients in the tocilizumab and control groups, respectively, and serious infections occurred in 2.7% and 1.9%, respectively. Elevations in the alanine aminotransferase level, from normal at baseline to >3-fold the upper limit of normal, occurred in 4% of patients in the tocilizumab group and 1% of those in the control group, and elevated total cholesterol levels were observed in 23% and 6% of patients, respectively. Sixteen patients started lipid-lowering therapy during the study. Grade 3 neutropenia occurred in 3.7% of patients receiving tocilizumab and none of the patients in the control group, and no grade 4 neutropenia was reported.
CONCLUSIONS
Tocilizumab combined with any of the DMARDs evaluated was safe and effective in reducing articular and systemic symptoms in patients with an inadequate response to these agents.
Publication
Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
August/13/2017
Abstract
Recent insights in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) necessitated updating the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) RA management recommendations. A large international Task Force based decisions on evidence from 3 systematic literature reviews, developing 4 overarching principles and 12 recommendations (vs 3 and 14, respectively, in 2013). The recommendations address conventional synthetic (cs) disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) (methotrexate (MTX), leflunomide, sulfasalazine); glucocorticoids (GC); biological (b) DMARDs (tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-inhibitors (adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab), abatacept, rituximab, tocilizumab, clazakizumab, sarilumab and sirukumab and biosimilar (bs) DMARDs) and targeted synthetic (ts) DMARDs (Janus kinase (Jak) inhibitors tofacitinib, baricitinib). Monotherapy, combination therapy, treatment strategies (treat-to-target) and the targets of sustained clinical remission (as defined by the American College of Rheumatology-(ACR)-EULAR Boolean or index criteria) or low disease activity are discussed. Cost aspects were taken into consideration. As first strategy, the Task Force recommends MTX (rapid escalation to 25 mg/week) plus short-term GC, aiming at >50% improvement within 3 and target attainment within 6 months. If this fails stratification is recommended. Without unfavourable prognostic markers, switching to-or adding-another csDMARDs (plus short-term GC) is suggested. In the presence of unfavourable prognostic markers (autoantibodies, high disease activity, early erosions, failure of 2 csDMARDs), any bDMARD (current practice) or Jak-inhibitor should be added to the csDMARD. If this fails, any other bDMARD or tsDMARD is recommended. If a patient is in sustained remission, bDMARDs can be tapered. For each recommendation, levels of evidence and Task Force agreement are provided, both mostly very high. These recommendations intend informing rheumatologists, patients, national rheumatology societies, hospital officials, social security agencies and regulators about EULAR's most recent consensus on the management of RA, aimed at attaining best outcomes with current therapies.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and Rheumatology
May/2/2016
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To develop a new evidence-based, pharmacologic treatment guideline for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
METHODS
We conducted systematic reviews to synthesize the evidence for the benefits and harms of various treatment options. We used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology to rate the quality of evidence. We employed a group consensus process to grade the strength of recommendations (either strong or conditional). A strong recommendation indicates that clinicians are certain that the benefits of an intervention far outweigh the harms (or vice versa). A conditional recommendation denotes uncertainty over the balance of benefits and harms and/or more significant variability in patient values and preferences.
RESULTS
The guideline covers the use of traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologic agents, tofacitinib, and glucocorticoids in early (<6 months) and established (≥6 months) RA. In addition, it provides recommendations on using a treat-to-target approach, tapering and discontinuing medications, and the use of biologic agents and DMARDs in patients with hepatitis, congestive heart failure, malignancy, and serious infections. The guideline addresses the use of vaccines in patients starting/receiving DMARDs or biologic agents, screening for tuberculosis in patients starting/receiving biologic agents or tofacitinib, and laboratory monitoring for traditional DMARDs. The guideline includes 74 recommendations: 23% are strong and 77% are conditional.
CONCLUSIONS
This RA guideline should serve as a tool for clinicians and patients (our two target audiences) for pharmacologic treatment decisions in commonly encountered clinical situations. These recommendations are not prescriptive, and the treatment decisions should be made by physicians and patients through a shared decision-making process taking into account patients' values, preferences, and comorbidities. These recommendations should not be used to limit or deny access to therapies.
Publication
Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
September/17/2007
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate the ability of tocilizumab (a humanised anti-IL-6 receptor antibody) monotherapy to inhibit progression of structural joint damage in patients with RA.
METHODS
In a multi-centre, x ray reader-blinded, randomised, controlled trial, 306 patients with active RA of <5 years' duration were allocated to receive either tocilizumab monotherapy at 8 mg/kg intravenously every 4 weeks or conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for 52 weeks. Radiographs of hands and forefeet were scored by the van der Heijde modified Sharp method.
RESULTS
Patients had a mean disease duration of 2.3 years and a disease activity score in 28 joints of 6.5 at baseline. Mean total modified Sharp score (TSS) was 29.4, which was very high despite the relatively short disease duration. At week 52, the tocilizumab group showed statistically significantly less radiographic change in TSS (mean 2.3; 95% CI 1.5 to 3.2) than the DMARD group (mean 6.1; 95% CI 4.2 to 8.0; p<0.01). Tocilizumab monotherapy also improved signs and symptoms. The overall incidences of AEs were 89% and 82% (serious AEs: 18% and 13%; serious infections: 7.6% and 4.1%) in the tocilizumab and DMARD groups, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
Tocilizumab monotherapy was generally well tolerated and provided radiographic benefit in patients with RA.
Publication
Journal: Rheumatology
August/29/2004
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
Delay of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy is a major contributing factor for poor outcome in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although early therapy has been shown to be particularly effective, there is still uncertainty about the optimal time point of DMARD introduction. We wanted to test if a therapeutic window of opportunity may exist within the first few months of the disease.
METHODS
In this case-control parallel-group study, 20 very early RA (VERA) patients with median disease duration of 3 months were age and gender matched to a group of 20 late early RA (LERA) patients with median disease duration of 12 months until first DMARD initiation. Follow-up time was 36 months. Primary outcome measures were the disease activity score (DAS28) and radiological joint destruction using the Larsen method.
RESULTS
Already after 3 months of DMARD therapy we found a significant difference of improvement in favour of the VERA patients in the DAS28. This trend continued over the study period. At study end the DAS28 showed an improvement of 2.8+/-1.5 in the VERA vs 1.7+/-1.2 in the LERA group (P(c)<0.05). The Larsen scores showed a statistically significant retardation of progression in the VERA compared with the LERA.
CONCLUSIONS
Our results indicate that there is a window of opportunity for highly successful treatment of RA in the first year, and especially within the first 3 months of therapy. Thus, early diagnosis and therapy may be the crucial step in achieving optimal control of disease progression and prognosis in RA.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
May/3/2010
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
We undertook this study to evaluate safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy of LY2439821, a humanized anti-interleukin-17 (anti-IL-17) monoclonal antibody, in a first in-human trial in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients taking oral disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
METHODS
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study consisted of 2 parts. In part A, 20 patients received 1 intravenous (IV) dose of LY2439821 (0.06, 0.2, 0.6, or 2.0 mg/kg, escalating) or placebo followed by 8 weeks of evaluation. End points included safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics. In part B, 77 patients received 1 IV dose of LY2439821 (0.2, 0.6, or 2.0 mg/kg) or placebo every 2 weeks for a total of 5 doses, with a total evaluation period of 16 weeks. End points included safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, and efficacy (Disease Activity Score in 28 joints [DAS28] and percentages of patients meeting American College of Rheumatology 20%, 50%, or 70% improvement criteria [achieving an ACR20, ACR50, or ACR70 response]). The primary efficacy end point was the DAS28 at week 10.
RESULTS
Baseline characteristics were similar across all groups. Changes in the DAS28 were significantly greater in the 0.2 mg/kg, 2.0 mg/kg, and all-LY2439821-combined groups (-2.3, -2.4, and -2.3, respectively) than in the placebo group (-1.7) at week 10 (P < or = 0.05), and these differences were significant as early as week 1. Percentages of ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 responses as well as improvements in the ACR core set of measures were greater in LY2439821-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients at multiple time points. There was no apparent dose-response relationship in treatment-emergent adverse events.
CONCLUSIONS
LY2439821 added to oral DMARDs improved signs and symptoms of RA, with no strong adverse safety signal noted. This first evaluation of LY2439821 supports neutralization of IL-17 as a potential novel goal for the treatment of RA.
Publication
Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
June/6/2004
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of monotherapy with adalimumab in patients with RA for whom previous DMARD treatment has failed.
METHODS
In a 26 week, double blind, placebo controlled, phase III trial, 544 patients with RA were randomised to monotherapy with adalimumab 20 mg every other week, 20 mg weekly, 40 mg every other week, 40 mg weekly, or placebo. The primary efficacy end point was>> or =20% improvement in the ACR core criteria (ACR20 response). Secondary efficacy end points included ACR50, ACR70, EULAR responses, and the Disability Index of the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ DI).
RESULTS
After 26 weeks, patients treated with adalimumab 20 mg every other week, 20 mg weekly, 40 mg every other week, and 40 mg weekly had significantly better response rates than those treated with placebo: ACR20 (35.8%, 39.3%, 46.0%, 53.4%, respectively v 19.1%; p< or =0.01); ACR50 (18.9%, 20.5%, 22.1%, 35.0% v 8.2%; p< or =0.05); ACR70 (8.5%, 9.8%, 12.4%, 18.4% v 1.8%; p< or =0.05). Moderate EULAR response rates were significantly greater with adalimumab than with placebo (41.5%, 48.2%, 55.8%, 63.1% v 26.4%; p< or =0.05). Patients treated with adalimumab achieved better improvements in mean HAQ DI than those receiving placebo (-0.29, -0.39, -0.38, -0.49 v -0.07; p< or =0.01). No significant differences were found between adalimumab and placebo treated patients for serious adverse events, serious infections, or malignancies. Injection site reaction occurred in 10.6% and 0.9% of adalimumab and placebo treated patients, respectively (p< or =0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
Among patients with RA for whom previous DMARD treatment had failed, adalimumab monotherapy achieved significant, rapid, and sustained improvements in disease activity and improved physical function and was safe and well tolerated.