A Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Study of Oral Triple Therapy Versus Etanercept Plus Methotrexate in Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis The Treatment of Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis Trial
ABSTRACT To assess whether it is better to intensively treat all patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using combinations of drugs or to reserve this approach for patients who do not have an appropriate response (as determined by a Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using the erythrocyte sedimentation rate [DAS28-ESR] of ≥ 3.2 at week 24) to methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy, and to assess whether combination therapy with MTX plus etanercept is superior to the combination of MTX plus sulfasalazine plus hydroxychloroquine.
The Treatment of Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis (TEAR) study is a 2-year, randomized, double-blind trial. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used to randomly assign subjects to 1 of 4 treatment arms: immediate treatment with MTX plus etanercept, immediate oral triple therapy (MTX plus sulfasalazine plus hydroxychloroquine), or step-up from MTX monotherapy to one of the combination therapies (MTX plus etanercept or MTX plus sulfasalazine plus hydroxychloroquine) at week 24 if the DAS28-ESR was ≥ 3.2. All treatment arms included matching placebos. The primary outcome was an observed-group analysis of DAS28-ESR values from week 48 to week 102.
At week 24 (beginning of the step-up period), subjects in the 2 immediate-treatment groups demonstrated a greater reduction in the DAS28-ESR compared with those in the 2 step-up groups (3.6 versus 4.2; P < 0.0001); no differences between the combination-therapy regimens were observed. Between week 48 and week 102, subjects randomized to the step-up arms had a DAS28-ESR clinical response that was not different from that of subjects who initially received combination therapy, regardless of the treatment arm. There was no significant difference in the DAS28-ESR between subjects randomized to oral triple therapy and those randomized to receive MTX plus etanercept. By week 102, there was a statistically significant difference in the change in radiographic measurements from baseline between the group receiving MTX plus etanercept and the group receiving oral triple therapy (0.64 versus 1.69; P = 0.047).
There were no differences in the mean DAS28-ESR during weeks 48-102 between subjects randomized to receive MTX plus etanercept and those randomized to triple therapy, regardless of whether they received immediate combination treatment or step-up from MTX monotherapy. At 102 weeks, immediate combination treatment with either strategy was more effective than MTX monotherapy prior to the initiation of step-up therapy. Initial use of MTX monotherapy with the addition of sulfasalazine plus hydroxychloroquine (or etanercept, if necessary, after 6 months) is a reasonable therapeutic strategy for patients with early RA. Treatment with the combination of MTX plus etanercept resulted in a statistically significant radiographic benefit compared with oral triple therapy.
BMJ (online) 03/2015; 350(mar13 27):h1192-h1192. DOI:10.1136/bmj.h1192 · 16.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To compare the performance of an extended model and a simplified prognostic model for joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) based on 3 baseline risk factors: anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP), erosions, and acute-phase reaction. Data were used from the Nijmegen early RA cohort. An extended model and a simplified baseline prediction model were developed to predict joint damage progression between 0 and 3 years. Joint damage progression was assessed using the Ratingen score. In the extended model, prediction factors were positivity for anti-CCP and/or rheumatoid factor, the level of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the quantity of erosions. The prediction score was calculated as the sum of the regression coefficients. In the simplified model, the prediction factors were dichotomized and the number of risk factors was counted. Performances of both models were compared using discrimination and calibration. The models were internally validated using bootstrapping. The extended model resulted in a prediction score between 0 and 5.6 with an area under the receiver-operation characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.77 (95% CI 0.72-0.81). The simplified model resulted in a prediction score between 0 and 3. This model had an area under the ROC curve of 0.75 (95% CI 0.70-0.80). In internal validation, the 2 models showed reasonably well the agreement between observed and predicted probabilities for joint damage progression (Hosmer-Lemeshow test p > 0.05 and calibration slope near 1.0). A simple prediction model for joint damage progression in early RA, by only counting the number of risk factors, has adequate performance. This facilitates the translation of the theoretical prognostic models to daily clinical practice.
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ABSTRACT: To determine whether intensive combinations of synthetic disease modifying drugs can achieve similar clinical benefits at lower costs to high cost biologics such as tumour necrosis factor inhibitors in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis resistant to initial methotrexate and other synthetic disease modifying drugs. Open label pragmatic randomised multicentre two arm non-inferiority trial over 12 months. 24 rheumatology clinics in England. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were eligible for treatment with tumour necrosis factor inhibitors according to current English guidance were randomised to either the tumour necrosis factor inhibitor strategy or the combined disease modifying drug strategy. Biologic strategy: start tumour necrosis factor inhibitor; second biologic in six month for non-responders. Alternative strategy: start combination of disease modifying drugs; start tumour necrosis factor inhibitors after six months in non-responders. Primary outcome: reduction in disability at 12 months measured with patient recorded heath assessment questionnaire (range 0.00-3.00) with a 0.22 non-inferiority margin for combination treatment versus the biologic strategy. quality of life, joint damage, disease activity, adverse events, and costs. Intention to treat analysis used multiple imputation methods for missing data. 432 patients were screened: 107 were randomised to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors and 101 started taking; 107 were randomised to the combined drug strategy and 104 started taking the drugs. Initial assessments were similar; 16 patients were lost to follow-up (seven with the tumour necrosis factor inhibitor strategy, nine with the combined drug strategy); 42 discontinued the intervention but were followed-up (19 and 23, respectively). The primary outcome showed mean falls in scores on the health assessment questionnaire of -0.30 with the tumour necrosis factor inhibitor strategy and -0.45 with the alternative combined drug strategy. The difference between groups in unadjusted linear regression analysis favoured the alternative strategy of combined drugs. The mean difference was -0.14, and the 95% confidence interval (-0.29 to 0.01) was below the prespecified non-inferiority boundary of 0.22. Improvements at 12 months in secondary outcomes, including quality of life and erosive progression, were similar with both strategies. Initial reductions in disease activity were greater with the biologic strategy, but these differences did not persist beyond six months. Remission was seen in 72 patients (44 with biologic strategy; 36 with alternative strategy); 28 patients had serious adverse events (18 and 10, respectively); six and 10 patients, respectively, stopped treatment because of toxicity. The alternative strategy reduced health and social care costs per patient by £3615 (€4930, $5585) for months 0-6 and £1930 for months 6-12. In patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who meet English criteria for biologics an alternative strategy with combinations of intensive synthetic disease modifying drugs gives non-inferior outcomes to treatment with tumour necrosis factor inhibitors. Costs are reduced substantially.Trial Registration ISRCTN 37438295. © Scott et al 2015.BMJ Clinical Research 03/2015; 350:h1046. DOI:10.1136/bmj.h1046 · 14.09 Impact Factor