Infliximab
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Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
October/17/2001
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Infliximab is a humanized antibody against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) that is used in the treatment of Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Approximately 147,000 patients throughout the world have received infliximab. Excess TNF-alpha in association with tuberculosis may cause weight loss and night sweats, yet in animal models it has a protective role in the host response to tuberculosis. There is no direct evidence of a protective role of TNF-alpha in patients with tuberculosis.

METHODS

We analyzed all reports of tuberculosis after infliximab therapy that had been received as of May 29, 2001, through the MedWatch spontaneous reporting system of the Food and Drug Administration.

RESULTS

There were 70 reported cases of tuberculosis after treatment with infliximab, for a median of 12 weeks. In 48 patients, tuberculosis developed after three or fewer infusions. Forty of the patients had extrapulmonary disease (17 had disseminated disease, 11 lymph node disease, 4 peritoneal disease, 2 pleural disease, and 1 each meningeal, enteric, paravertebral, bone, genital, and bladder disease). The diagnosis was confirmed by a biopsy in 33 patients. Of the 70 reports, 64 were from countries with a low incidence of tuberculosis. The reported frequency of tuberculosis in association with infliximab therapy was much higher than the reported frequency of other opportunistic infections associated with this drug. In addition, the rate of reported cases of tuberculosis among patients treated with infliximab was higher than the available background rates.

CONCLUSIONS

Active tuberculosis may develop soon after the initiation of treatment with infliximab. Before prescribing the drug, physicians should screen patients for latent tuberculosis infection or disease.

Pubmed
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
July/11/2002
Abstract

BACKGROUND

We did a randomised controlled trial to assess the benefit of maintenance infliximab therapy in patients with active Crohn's disease who respond to a single infusion of infliximab.

METHODS

573 patients with a score of at least 220 on the Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) received a 5 mg/kg intravenous infusion of infliximab at week 0. After assessment of response at week 2, patients were randomly assigned repeat infusions of placebo at weeks 2 and 6 and then every 8 weeks thereafter until week 46 (group I), repeat infusions of 5 mg/kg infliximab at the same timepoints (group II), or 5 mg/kg infliximab at weeks 2 and 6 followed by 10 mg/kg (group III). The prespecified co-primary endpoints were the proportion of patients who responded at week 2 and were in remission (CDAI <150) at week 30 and the time to loss of response up to week 54 in patients who responded. Analyses of the co-primary endpoints were by intention to treat.

RESULTS

335 (58%) patients responded to a single infusion of infliximab within 2 weeks. At week 30, 23 of 110 (21%) group I patients were in remission, compared with 44 of 113 (39%) group II (p=0.003) and 50 of 112 (45%) group III (p=0.0002) patients. Thus, patients in groups II and III combined were more likely to sustain clinical remission than patients in group I (odds ratio 2.7, 95% CI 1.6-4.6). Throughout the 54-week trial, the median time to loss of response was 38 weeks (IQR 15 to >54) and more than 54 weeks (21 to >54) for groups II and III, respectively, compared with 19 weeks (10-45) for group I (p=0.002 and p=0.0002, respectively). Infliximab safety was consistent with that seen in other trials of infliximab in Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. In particular, the incidence of serious infections was similar across treatment groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with Crohn's disease who respond to an initial dose of infliximab are more likely to be in remission at weeks 30 and 54, to discontinue corticosteroids, and to maintain their response for a longer period of time, if infliximab treatment is maintained every 8 weeks.

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Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
December/6/2000
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Neutralization of tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-alpha) for three to six months reduces the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the capacity of this approach to effect a more sustained benefit and its effect on joint damage are not known.

METHODS

We treated 428 patients who had active rheumatoid arthritis despite methotrexate therapy with placebo or infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against TNF-alpha, in intravenous doses of 3 or 10 mg per kilogram of body weight every 4 or 8 weeks in combination with oral methotrexate for 54 weeks. We assessed clinical responses with use of the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, the quality of life with a health-status questionnaire, and the effect on joint damage radiographically.

RESULTS

The combination of infliximab and methotrexate was well tolerated and resulted in a sustained reduction in the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis that was significantly greater than the reduction associated with methotrexate therapy alone (clinical response, 51.8 percent vs. 17.0 percent; P<0.001). The quality of life was also significantly better with infliximab plus methotrexate than with methotrexate alone. Radiographic evidence of joint damage increased in the group given methotrexate, but not in the groups given infliximab and methotrexate (mean change in radiographic score, 7.0 vs. 0.6, P<0.001). Radiographic evidence of progression of joint damage was absent in infliximab-treated patients whether or not they had a clinical response.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with persistently active rheumatoid arthritis despite methotrexate therapy, repeated doses of infliximab in combination with methotrexate provided clinical benefit and halted the progression of joint damage.

Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
December/19/2005
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha, is an established treatment for Crohn's disease but not ulcerative colitis.

METHODS

Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies--the Active Ulcerative Colitis Trials 1 and 2 (ACT 1 and ACT 2, respectively)--evaluated the efficacy of infliximab for induction and maintenance therapy in adults with ulcerative colitis. In each study, 364 patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis despite treatment with concurrent medications received placebo or infliximab (5 mg or 10 mg per kilogram of body weight) intravenously at weeks 0, 2, and 6 and then every eight weeks through week 46 (in ACT 1) or week 22 (in ACT 2). Patients were followed for 54 weeks in ACT 1 and 30 weeks in ACT 2.

RESULTS

In ACT 1, 69 percent of patients who received 5 mg of infliximab and 61 percent of those who received 10 mg had a clinical response at week 8, as compared with 37 percent of those who received placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons with placebo). A response was defined as a decrease in the Mayo score of at least 3 points and at least 30 percent, with an accompanying decrease in the subscore for rectal bleeding of at least 1 point or an absolute rectal-bleeding subscore of 0 or 1. In ACT 2, 64 percent of patients who received 5 mg of infliximab and 69 percent of those who received 10 mg had a clinical response at week 8, as compared with 29 percent of those who received placebo (P<0.001 for both comparisons with placebo). In both studies, patients who received infliximab were more likely to have a clinical response at week 30 (P< or =0.002 for all comparisons). In ACT 1, more patients who received 5 mg or 10 mg of infliximab had a clinical response at week 54 (45 percent and 44 percent, respectively) than did those who received placebo (20 percent, P<0.001 for both comparisons).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with moderate-to-severe active ulcerative colitis treated with infliximab at weeks 0, 2, and 6 and every eight weeks thereafter were more likely to have a clinical response at weeks 8, 30, and 54 than were those receiving placebo. (ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00036439 and NCT00096655.)

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Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
October/8/1997
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Studies in animals and an open-label trial have suggested a role for antibodies to tumor necrosis factor alpha, specifically chimeric monoclonal antibody cA2, in the treatment of Crohn's disease.

METHODS

We conducted a 12-week multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of cA2 in 108 patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease that was resistant to treatment. All had scores on the Crohn's Disease Activity Index between 220 and 400 (scores can range from 0 to about 600, with higher scores indicating more severe illness). Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single two-hour intravenous infusion of either placebo or cA2 in a dose of 5 mg per kilogram of body weight, 10 mg per kilogram, or 20 mg per kilogram. Clinical response, the primary end point, was defined as a reduction of 70 or more points in the score on the Crohn's Disease Activity Index at four weeks that was not accompanied by a change in any concomitant medications.

RESULTS

At four weeks, 81 percent of the patients given 5 mg of cA2 per kilogram (22 of 27 patients), 50 percent of those given 10 mg of cA2 per kilogram (14 of 28), and 64 percent of those given 20 mg of cA2 per kilogram (18 of 28) had had a clinical response, as compared with 17 percent of patients in the placebo group (4 of 24) (p<0.001 for the comparison of the cA2 group as a whole with placebo). Thirty-three percent of the patients given cA2 went into remission (defined as a score below 150 on the Crohn's Disease Activity Index), as compared with 4 percent of the patients given placebo (P=0.005). At 12 weeks, 41 percent of the cA2-treated patients (34 of 83) had had a clinical response, as compared with 12 percent of the patients in the placebo group (3 of 25) (P=0.008). The rates of adverse effects were similar in the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

A single infusion of cA2 was an effective short-term treatment in many patients with moderate-to-severe, treatment-resistant Crohn's disease.

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Pubmed
Journal: JAMA
May/22/2006
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) plays an important role in host defense and tumor growth control. Therefore, anti-TNF antibody therapies may increase the risk of serious infections and malignancies.

OBJECTIVE

To assess the extent to which anti-TNF antibody therapies may increase the risk of serious infections and malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by performing a meta-analysis to derive estimates of sparse harmful events occurring in randomized trials of anti-TNF therapy.

METHODS

A systematic literature search of EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and electronic abstract databases of the annual scientific meetings of both the European League Against Rheumatism and the American College of Rheumatology was conducted through December 2005. This search was complemented with interviews of the manufacturers of the 2 licensed anti-TNF antibodies.

METHODS

We included randomized, placebo-controlled trials of the 2 licensed anti-TNF antibodies (infliximab and adalimumab) used for 12 weeks or more in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nine trials met our inclusion criteria, including 3493 patients who received anti-TNF antibody treatment and 1512 patients who received placebo.

METHODS

Data on study characteristics to assess study quality and intention-to-treat data for serious infections and malignancies were abstracted. Published information from the trials was supplemented by direct contact between principal investigators and industry sponsors.

RESULTS

We calculated a pooled odds ratio (Mantel-Haenszel methods with a continuity correction designed for sparse data) for malignancies and serious infections (infection that requires antimicrobial therapy and/or hospitalization) in anti-TNF-treated patients vs placebo patients. We estimated effects for high and low doses separately. The pooled odds ratio for malignancy was 3.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-9.1) and for serious infection was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.3-3.1). Malignancies were significantly more common in patients treated with higher doses compared with patients who received lower doses of anti-TNF antibodies. For patients treated with anti-TNF antibodies in the included trials, the number needed to harm was 154 (95% CI, 91-500) for 1 additional malignancy within a treatment period of 6 to 12 months. For serious infections, the number needed to harm was 59 (95% CI, 39-125) within a treatment period of 3 to 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS

There is evidence of an increased risk of serious infections and a dose-dependent increased risk of malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-TNF antibody therapy. The formal meta-analysis with pooled sparse adverse events data from randomized controlled trials serves as a tool to assess harmful drug effects.

Pubmed
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
January/17/2000
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Not all patients with rheumatoid arthritis can tolerate or respond to methotrexate, a standard treatment for this disease. There is evidence that antitumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) is efficacious in relief of signs and symptoms. We therefore investigated whether infliximab, a chimeric human-mouse anti-TNFalpha monoclonal antibody would provide additional clinical benefit to patients who had active rheumatoid arthritis despite receiving methotrexate.

METHODS

In an international double-blind placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial, 428 patients who had active rheumatoid arthritis, who had received continuous methotrexate for at least 3 months and at a stable dose for at least 4 weeks, were randomised to placebo (n=88) or one of four regimens of infliximab at weeks 0, 2, and 6. Additional infusions of the same dose were given every 4 or 8 weeks thereafter on a background of a stable dose of methotrexate (median 15 mg/week for > or =6 months, range 10-35 mg/wk). Patients were assessed every 4 weeks for 30 weeks.

RESULTS

At 30 weeks, the American College of Rheumatology (20) response criteria, representing a 20% improvement from baseline, were achieved in 53, 50, 58, and 52% of patients receiving 3 mg/kg every 4 or 8 weeks or 10 mg/kg every 4 or 8 weeks, respectively, compared with 20% of patients receiving placebo plus methotrexate (p<0.001 for each of the four infliximab regimens vs placebo). A 50% improvement was achieved in 29, 27, 26, and 31% of infliximab plus methotrexate in the same treatment groups, compared with 5% of patients on placebo plus methotrexate (p<0.001). Infliximab was well-tolerated; withdrawals for adverse events as well as the occurrence of serious adverse events or serious infections did not exceed those in the placebo group.

CONCLUSIONS

During 30 weeks, treatment with infliximab plus methotrexate was more efficacious than methotrexate alone in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis not previously responding to methotrexate.

Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
April/21/2010
Abstract

BACKGROUND

The comparative efficacy and safety of infliximab and azathioprine therapy alone or in combination for Crohn's disease are unknown.

METHODS

In this randomized, double-blind trial, we evaluated the efficacy of infliximab monotherapy, azathioprine monotherapy, and the two drugs combined in 508 adults with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease who had not undergone previous immunosuppressive or biologic therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive an intravenous infusion of 5 mg of infliximab per kilogram of body weight at weeks 0, 2, and 6 and then every 8 weeks plus daily oral placebo capsules; 2.5 mg of oral azathioprine per kilogram daily plus a placebo infusion on the standard schedule; or combination therapy with the two drugs. Patients received study medication through week 30 and could continue in a blinded study extension through week 50.

RESULTS

Of the 169 patients receiving combination therapy, 96 (56.8%) were in corticosteroid-free clinical remission at week 26 (the primary end point), as compared with 75 of 169 patients (44.4%) receiving infliximab alone (P=0.02) and 51 of 170 patients (30.0%) receiving azathioprine alone (P<0.001 for the comparison with combination therapy and P=0.006 for the comparison with infliximab). Similar numerical trends were found at week 50. At week 26, mucosal healing had occurred in 47 of 107 patients (43.9%) receiving combination therapy, as compared with 28 of 93 patients (30.1%) receiving infliximab (P=0.06) and 18 of 109 patients (16.5%) receiving azathioprine (P<0.001 for the comparison with combination therapy and P=0.02 for the comparison with infliximab). Serious infections developed in 3.9% of patients in the combination-therapy group, 4.9% of those in the infliximab group, and 5.6% of those in the azathioprine group.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease who were treated with infliximab plus azathioprine or infliximab monotherapy were more likely to have a corticosteroid-free clinical remission than those receiving azathioprine monotherapy. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00094458.)

Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
May/11/1999
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Enterocutaneous fistulas are a serious complication of Crohn's disease and are difficult to treat. Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody to tumor necrosis factor alpha, has recently been developed as a treatment for Crohn's disease. We conducted a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of infliximab for the treatment of fistulas in patients with Crohn's disease.

METHODS

The study included 94 adult patients who had draining abdominal or perianal fistulas of at least three months' duration as a complication of Crohn's disease. Patients were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: placebo (31 patients), 5 mg of infliximab per kilogram of body weight (31 patients), or 10 mg of infliximab per kilogram (32 patients); all three were to be administered intravenously at weeks 0, 2, and 6. The primary end point was a reduction of 50 percent or more from base line in the number of draining fistulas observed at two or more consecutive study visits. A secondary end point was the closure of all fistulas.

RESULTS

Sixty-eight percent of the patients who received 5 mg of infliximab per kilogram and 56 percent of those who received 10 mg per kilogram achieved the primary end point, as compared with 26 percent of the patients in the placebo group (P=0.002 and P=0.02, respectively). In addition, 55 percent of the patients assigned to receive 5 mg of infliximab per kilogram and 38 percent of those assigned to 10 mg per kilogram had closure of all fistulas, as compared with 13 percent of the patients assigned to placebo (P=0.001 and P=0.04, respectively). The median length of time during which the fistulas remained closed was three months. More than 60 percent of patients in all the groups had adverse events. For patients treated with infliximab, the most common were headache, abscess, upper respiratory tract infection, and fatigue.

CONCLUSIONS

Infliximab is an efficacious treatment for fistulas in patients with Crohn's disease.

Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
February/20/2003
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Treatment with infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal IgG1 antibody against tumor necrosis factor, can result in the formation of antibodies against infliximab. We evaluated the clinical significance of these antibodies in patients with Crohn's disease.

METHODS

In a cohort of 125 consecutive patients with Crohn's disease who were treated with infliximab infusions, we evaluated the concentrations of infliximab and of antibodies against infliximab, clinical data, side effects (including infusion reactions), and the use of concomitant medications before and 4, 8, and 12 weeks after each infusion.

RESULTS

A mean of 3.9 infusions (range, 1 to 17) per patient were administered over a mean period of 10 months. Antibodies against infliximab were detected in 61 percent of patients. The presence of concentrations of 8.0 microg per milliliter or greater before an infusion predicted a shorter duration of response (35 days, as compared with 71 days among patients with concentrations of less than 8.0 microg per milliliter; P<0.001) and a higher risk of infusion reactions (relative risk, 2.40; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.65 to 3.66; P<0.001). Infliximab concentrations were significantly lower at four weeks among patients who had had an infusion reaction than among patients who had never had an infusion reaction (median, 1.2 vs. 14.1 microg per milliliter; P<0.001). Patients who had infusion reactions had a median duration of clinical response of 38.5 days, as compared with 65 days among patients who did not have an infusion reaction (P<0.001). Concomitant immunosuppressive therapy was predictive of low titers of antibodies against infliximab (P<0.001) and high concentrations of infliximab four weeks after an infusion (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The development of antibodies against infliximab is associated with an increased risk of infusion reactions and a reduced duration of response to treatment. Concomitant immunosuppressive therapy reduces the magnitude of the immunogenic response.

Pubmed
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
March/2/2004
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Infliximab, a monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor, is an effective maintenance therapy for patients with Crohn's disease without fistulas. It is not known whether infliximab is an effective maintenance therapy for patients with fistulas.

METHODS

We performed a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of infliximab maintenance therapy in 306 adult patients with Crohn's disease and one or more draining abdominal or perianal fistulas of at least three months' duration. Patients received 5 mg of infliximab per kilogram of body weight intravenously on weeks 0, 2, and 6. A total of 195 patients who had a response at weeks 10 and 14 and 87 patients who had no response were then randomly assigned to receive placebo or 5 mg of infliximab per kilogram every eight weeks and to be followed to week 54. The primary analysis was the time to the loss of response among patients who had a response at week 14 and underwent randomization.

RESULTS

The time to loss of response was significantly longer for patients who received infliximab maintenance therapy than for those who received placebo maintenance (more than 40 weeks vs. 14 weeks, P<0.001). At week 54, 19 percent of patients in the placebo maintenance group had a complete absence of draining fistulas, as compared with 36 percent of patients in the infliximab maintenance group (P=0.009).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with fistulizing Crohn's disease who have a response to induction therapy with infliximab have an increased likelihood of a sustained response over a 54-week period if infliximab treatment is continued every 8 weeks.

Pubmed
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
October/7/1998
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the efficacy, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, and safety of multiple infusions of a chimeric monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha antibody (cA2) (infliximab; Remicade, Centocor, Malvern, PA) given alone or in combination with low-dose methotrexate (MTX) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

METHODS

In a 26-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, 101 patients with active RA exhibiting an incomplete response or flare of disease activity while receiving low-dose MTX were randomized to 1 of 7 groups of 14-15 patients each. The patients received either intravenous cA2 at 1, 3, or 10 mg/kg, with or without MTX 7.5 mg/week, or intravenous placebo plus MTX 7.5 mg/week at weeks 0, 2, 6, 10, and 14 and were followed up through week 26.

RESULTS

Approximately 60% of patients receiving cA2 at 3 or 10 mg/kg with or without MTX achieved the 20% Paulus criteria for response to treatment, for a median duration of 10.4 to >18.1 weeks (P < 0.001 versus placebo). Patients receiving cA2 at 1 mg/kg without MTX became unresponsive to repeated infusions of cA2 (median duration 2.6 weeks; P=0.126 versus placebo). However, coadministration of cA2 at 1 mg/kg with MTX appeared to be synergistic, prolonging the duration of the 20% response in >60% of patients to a median of 16.5 weeks (P < 0.001 versus placebo; P=0.006 versus no MTX) and the 50% response to 12.2 weeks (P < 0.001 versus placebo; P=0.002 versus no MTX). Patients receiving placebo infusions plus suboptimal low-dose MTX continued to have active disease, with a Paulus response lasting a median of 0 weeks. A 70-90% reduction in the swollen joint count, tender joint count, and C-reactive protein level was maintained for the entire 26 weeks in patients receiving 10 mg/kg of cA2 with MTX. In general, treatment was well tolerated and stable blood levels of cA2 were achieved in all groups, except for the group receiving 1 mg/kg of cA2 alone, at which dosage antibodies to cA2 were observed in approximately 50% of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiple infusions of cA2 were effective and well tolerated, with the best results occurring at 3 and 10 mg/kg either alone or in combination with MTX in approximately 60% of patients with active RA despite therapy with low-dose MTX. When cA2 at 1 mg/kg was given with low-dose MTX, synergy was observed. The results of the trial provide a strategy for further evaluation of the efficacy and safety of longer-term treatment with cA2.

Pubmed
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
November/7/1994
Abstract

Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) is a critical inflammatory mediator in rheumatoid arthritis, and may therefore be a useful target for specific immunotherapy. In support of this hypothesis, we previously observed beneficial responses in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis after open-label administration of a chimeric monoclonal antibody to TNF alpha (cA2). We now report the results of a four-centre, randomised double-blind trial of a single infusion of 1 or 10 mg/kg cA2 compared with placebo in 73 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. The primary endpoint of the study was the achievement at week 4 of a Paulus 20% response, an amalgam of six clinical, observational, and laboratory variables. Intention-to-treat analysis of data from individual patients showed only 2 of 24 placebo recipients responding at this time, compared with 11 of 25 patients treated with low-dose cA2 (p = 0.0083) and 19 of 24 patients treated with high-dose cA2 (p < 0.0001). Over half of the high-dose cA2 patients responded by the more stringent 50% Paulus criteria at this time (p = 0.0005). The magnitude of these responses was impressive, with maximum mean improvements in individual disease-activity assessments, such as tender or swollen-joint counts and in serum C-reactive protein, exceeding 60% for patients on high-dose treatment. There were two severe adverse events. 1 patient on 1 mg/kg cA2 developed pneumonia ("possibly" treatment-related) and 1 on 10 mg/kg had a fracture ("probably not" treatment-related). The results provide the first good evidence that specific cytokine blockade can be effective in human inflammatory disease and define a new direction for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Pubmed
Journal: Pharmacology & therapeutics
March/26/2008
Abstract

During the past 30 years, elucidation of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis at the cellular and molecular levels has revealed that these diseases share common mechanisms and are more closely related than was previously recognized. Research on the complex biology of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has uncovered many mechanisms and pathways by which TNF may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. There are 3 TNF antagonists currently available: adalimumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody; etanercept, a soluble receptor construct; and infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody. Two other TNF antagonists, certolizumab and golimumab, are in clinical development. The remarkable efficacy of TNF antagonists in these diseases places TNF in the center of our understanding of the pathogenesis of many immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. The purpose of this review is to discuss the biology of TNF and related family members in the context of the potential mechanisms of action of TNF antagonists in a variety of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Possible mechanistic differences between TNF antagonists are addressed with regard to their efficacy and safety profiles.

Pubmed
Journal: Lancet (London, England)
April/24/2002
Abstract

BACKGROUND Treatment options for patients with ankylosing spondylitis are few. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of infliximab, an antibody to tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, in treatment of such patients.

METHODS

In this 12-week placebo-controlled multicentre study, we randomly assigned 35 patients with active ankylosing spondylitis to intravenous infliximab (5 mg/kg) and 35 to placebo at weeks 0, 2, and 6. One patient in the infliximab group was withdrawn from the study. Our primary outcome was regression of disease activity of at least 50%. To assess response, we used validated clinical criteria from the ankylosing spondylitis assessment working group, including disease activity (BASDAI), functional indices (BASFI), metrology (BASMI), and quality of life (short form 36). Analyses were done by intention to treat.

RESULTS

18 (53%) of 34 patients on infliximab had a regression of disease activity at week 12 of at least 50% compared with three (9%) of 35 on placebo (difference 44% [95% CI 23-61], p<0.0001). Function and quality of life also improved significantly on infliximab but not on placebo (p<0.0001 and p<0.0001, respectively). Treatment with infliximab was generally well tolerated, but three patients had to stop treatment because of systemic tuberculosis, allergic granulomatosis of the lung, or mild leucopenia.

CONCLUSIONS

Our results show that treatment with infliximab is effective in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis. Since there are some potentially serious adverse effects, we recommend that this treatment mainly be used in co-operation with rheumatological centres.

Pubmed
Journal: Annual review of immunology
August/1/2001
Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a systemic disease, is characterized by a chronic inflammatory reaction in the synovium of joints and is associated with degeneration of cartilage and erosion of juxta-articular bone. Many pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF alpha, chemokines, and growth factors are expressed in diseased joints. The rationale that TNF alpha played a central role in regulating these molecules, and their pathophysiological potential, was initially provided by the demonstration that anti-TNF alpha antibodies added to in vitro cultures of a representative population of cells derived from diseased joints inhibited the spontaneous production of IL-1 and other pro-inflammatory cytokines. Systemic administration of anti-TNF alpha antibody or sTNFR fusion protein to mouse models of RA was shown to be anti-inflammatory and joint protective. Clinical investigations in which the activity of TNF alpha in RA patients was blocked with intravenously administered infliximab, a chimeric anti-TNF alpha monoclonal antibody (mAB), has provided evidence that TNF regulates IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, and VEGF production, recruitment of immune and inflammatory cells into joints, angiogenesis, and reduction of blood levels of matrix metalloproteinases-1 and -3. Randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center clinical trials of human TNF alpha inhibitors have demonstrated their consistent and remarkable efficacy in controlling signs and symptoms, with a favorable safety profile, in approximately two thirds of patients for up to 2 years, and their ability to retard joint damage. Infliximab (a mAB), and etanercept (a sTNF-R-Fc fusion protein) have been approved by regulatory authorities in the United States and Europe for treating RA, and they represent a significant new addition to available therapeutic options.

Pubmed
Journal: Blood
August/16/2007
Abstract

CD4+CD25+ T-regulatory cells (Tregs) play an essential role in maintaining immunologic homeostasis and preventing autoimmunity. However, little is known about the exogenous factors that regulate their differentiation and function. Here, we report that TNF inhibits the suppressive function of both naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ Tregs and TGFbeta1-induced CD4+CD25+ T-regulatory cells. The mechanism of this inhibition involves signaling through TNFRII that is constitutively expressed selectively on unstimulated Tregs and that is up-regulated by TNF. TNF-mediated inhibition of suppressive function is related to a decrease in FoxP3 mRNA and protein expression by the Tregs. Notably, CD4+CD25hi Tregs isolated from patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) expressed reduced levels of FoxP3 mRNA and protein and poorly suppressed the proliferation and cytokine secretion of CD4+ effector T cells in vitro. Treatment with anti-TNF antibody (infliximab) increased FOXP3 mRNA and protein expression by CD4+CD25hi Tregs and restored their suppressive function. Thus, TNF has a novel action in modulating autoimmunity, by inhibiting CD4+CD25+ Treg activity.

Pubmed
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
December/16/2004
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare the benefits of initiating treatment with methotrexate (MTX) and infliximab (anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha [anti-TNFalpha] monoclonal antibody) with those of MTX treatment alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of < or =3 years' duration.

METHODS

RA patients were eligible if they had active disease and no prior treatment with MTX or a TNFalpha inhibitor. One thousand forty-nine patients were randomly assigned in a 4:5:5 ratio to 3 treatment groups: MTX-placebo, MTX-3 mg/kg infliximab, and MTX-6 mg/kg infliximab. MTX dosages were rapidly escalated to 20 mg/week, and infliximab or placebo infusions were given at weeks 0, 2, and 6, and every 8 weeks thereafter through week 46.

RESULTS

At week 54, the median percentage of American College of Rheumatology improvement (ACR-N) was higher for the MTX-3 mg/kg infliximab and MTX-6 mg/kg infliximab groups than for the MTX-placebo group (38.9% and 46.7% versus 26.4%, respectively; P < 0.001 for both comparisons). Patients in the MTX-3 mg/kg infliximab and MTX-6 mg/kg infliximab groups also showed less radiographic progression than those receiving MTX alone (mean +/- SD changes in van der Heijde modification of the total Sharp score at week 54: 0.4 +/- 5.8 and 0.5 +/- 5.6 versus 3.7 +/- 9.6, respectively; P < 0.001 for each comparison). In addition, physical function improved significantly more in the MTX-3 mg/kg infliximab and MTX-6 mg/kg infliximab groups than in the MTX-placebo group. Infliximab therapy was associated with a significantly higher incidence of serious infections, especially pneumonia.

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with active RA in its early stages, combination therapy with MTX and infliximab provides greater clinical, radiographic, and functional benefits than treatment with MTX alone.

Pubmed
Journal: Circulation
July/14/2003
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Preclinical and preliminary clinical data have suggested that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) may play a role in the evolution and progression of heart failure and that inhibition of TNFalpha may favorably modify the course of the disease. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody to TNFalpha, in patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure.

RESULTS

One hundred fifty patients with stable New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction <or=35% were randomly assigned to receive placebo (n=49), infliximab 5 mg/kg (n=50), or infliximab 10 mg/kg (n=51) at 0, 2, and 6 weeks after randomization and were followed-up prospectively for 28 weeks. Neither dose of infliximab improved clinical status at 14 weeks, the primary endpoint of the study, despite suppression of inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6) and a modest increase in ejection fraction in the patients receiving 5 mg/kg (P=0.013). Furthermore, after 28 weeks, 13, 10, and 20 patients were hospitalized for any reason in the placebo, 5 mg/kg infliximab, and 10 mg/kg infliximab groups, respectively. The combined risk of death from any cause or hospitalization for heart failure through 28 weeks was increased in the patients randomized to 10 mg/kg infliximab (hazard ratio 2.84, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 7.97; nominal P=0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

Short-term TNFalpha antagonism with infliximab did not improve and high doses (10 mg/kg) adversely affected the clinical condition of patients with moderate-to-severe chronic heart failure.

Pubmed
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
December/8/2005
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Several treatment strategies have proven value in the amelioration of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the optimal strategy for preventing long-term joint damage and functional decline is unclear. We undertook this study to compare clinical and radiographic outcomes of 4 different treatment strategies, with intense monitoring in all patients.

METHODS

In a multicenter, randomized clinical trial, 508 patients were allocated to 1 of 4 treatment strategies: sequential disease-modifying antirheumatic drug monotherapy (group 1), step-up combination therapy (group 2), initial combination therapy with tapered high-dose prednisone (group 3), and initial combination therapy with the tumor necrosis factor antagonist infliximab (group 4). Treatment adjustments were made every 3 months in an effort to obtain low disease activity (a Disease Activity Score in 44 joints of < or =2.4).

RESULTS

Initial combination therapy including either prednisone (group 3) or infliximab (group 4) resulted in earlier functional improvement than did sequential monotherapy (group 1) and step-up combination therapy (group 2), with mean scores at 3 months on the Dutch version of the Health Assessment Questionnaire (D-HAQ) of 1.0 in groups 1 and 2 and 0.6 in groups 3 and 4 (P < 0.001). After 1 year, mean D-HAQ scores were 0.7 in groups 1 and 2 and 0.5 in groups 3 and 4 (P = 0.009). The median increases in total Sharp/Van der Heijde radiographic joint score were 2.0, 2.5, 1.0, and 0.5 in groups 1-4, respectively (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the number of adverse events and withdrawals between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with early RA, initial combination therapy including either prednisone or infliximab resulted in earlier functional improvement and less radiographic damage after 1 year than did sequential monotherapy or step-up combination therapy.

Pubmed
Journal: JAMA psychiatry
March/16/2013
Abstract

BACKGROUND

Increased concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers predict antidepressant nonresponse, and inflammatory cytokines can sabotage and circumvent the mechanisms of action of conventional antidepressants.

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether inhibition of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) reduces depressive symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant depression and whether an increase in baseline plasma inflammatory biomarkers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), TNF, and its soluble receptors, predicts treatment response.

METHODS

Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.

METHODS

Outpatient infusion center at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

METHODS

A total of 60 medically stable outpatients with major depression who were either on a consistent antidepressant regimen (n = 37) or medication-free (n = 23) for 4 weeks or more and who were moderately resistant to treatment as determined by the Massachusetts General Hospital Staging method.

METHODS

Three infusions of the TNF antagonist infliximab (5 mg/kg) (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) at baseline and weeks 2 and 6 of a 12-week trial.

METHODS

The 17-item Hamilton Scale for Depression (HAM-D) scores.

RESULTS

No overall difference in change of HAM-D scores between treatment groups across time was found. However, there was a significant interaction between treatment, time, and log baseline hs-CRP concentration (P = .01), with change in HAM-D scores (baseline to week 12) favoring infliximab-treated patients at a baseline hs-CRP concentration greater than 5 mg/L and favoring placebo-treated patients at a baseline hs-CRP concentration of 5 mg/L or less. Exploratory analyses focusing on patients with a baseline hs-CRP concentration greater than 5 mg/L revealed a treatment response (≥50% reduction in HAM-D score at any point during treatment) of 62% (8 of 13 patients) in infliximab-treated patients vs 33% (3 of 9 patients) in placebo-treated patients (P = .19). Baseline concentrations of TNF and its soluble receptors were significantly higher in infliximab-treated responders vs nonresponders (P < .05), and infliximab-treated responders exhibited significantly greater decreases in hs-CRP from baseline to week 12 compared with placebo-treated responders (P < .01). Dropouts and adverse events were limited and did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS

This proof-of-concept study suggests that TNF antagonism does not have generalized efficacy in treatment-resistant depression but may improve depressive symptoms in patients with high baseline inflammatory biomarkers.

BACKGROUND

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00463580.

Pubmed
Journal: Gastroenterology
August/2/1995
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Increased concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a potent proinflammatory cytokine, can be shown in the mucosa of patients with active Crohn's disease. Neutralization of TNF has been shown to decrease recruitment of inflammatory cells and granuloma formation in several animal models. The aim of this study was to investigate the safety and potential efficacy of an anti-TNF monoclonal antibody in the treatment of active Crohn's disease.

METHODS

Ten patients with active Crohn's disease that was unresponsive to therapy were administered a single infusion of an anti-TNF human/mouse chimeric monoclonal antibody (cA2) in an open-label treatment protocol while the baseline anti-inflammatory therapy was continued.

RESULTS

Eight patients showed normalization of Crohn's Disease Activity Index scores and healing of ulcerations as judged by colonoscopy within 4 weeks after treatment. One patient had a perforation after colonoscopy and recovered completely after surgery. One elderly patient showed a poor response. The average duration of response after a single infusion was 4 months. No adverse experiences related to cA2 were observed.

CONCLUSIONS

The results support the hypothesis that TNF is of major importance in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease. Treatment with cA2 was safe and may be useful in patients with Crohn's disease that is unresponsive to steroid treatment.

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