Article

Therapies for Active Rheumatoid Arthritis after Methotrexate Failure

White River Junction VA Medical Center, White River Junction, VT (T.H.T.)
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 06/2013; 369(4). DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1303006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background Few blinded trials have compared conventional therapy consisting of a combination of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs with biologic agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have active disease despite treatment with methotrexate - a common scenario in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Methods We conducted a 48-week, double-blind, noninferiority trial in which we randomly assigned 353 participants with rheumatoid arthritis who had active disease despite methotrexate therapy to a triple regimen of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine) or etanercept plus methotrexate. Patients who did not have an improvement at 24 weeks according to a prespecified threshold were switched in a blinded fashion to the other therapy. The primary outcome was improvement in the Disease Activity Score for 28-joint counts (DAS28, with scores ranging from 2 to 10 and higher scores indicating more disease activity) at week 48. Results Both groups had significant improvement over the course of the first 24 weeks (P=0.001 for the comparison with baseline). A total of 27% of participants in each group required a switch in treatment at 24 weeks. Participants in both groups who switched therapies had improvement after switching (P<0.001), and the response after switching did not differ significantly between the two groups (P=0.08). The change between baseline and 48 weeks in the DAS28 was similar in the two groups (-2.1 with triple therapy and -2.3 with etanercept and methotrexate, P=0.26); triple therapy was noninferior to etanercept and methotrexate, since the 95% upper confidence limit of 0.41 for the difference in change in DAS28 was below the margin for noninferiority of 0.6 (P=0.002). There were no significant between-group differences in secondary outcomes, including radiographic progression, pain, and health-related quality of life, or in major adverse events associated with the medications. Conclusions With respect to clinical benefit, triple therapy, with sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine added to methotrexate, was noninferior to etanercept plus methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had active disease despite methotrexate therapy. (Funded by the Cooperative Studies Program, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, and others; CSP 551 RACAT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00405275 .).

0 Followers
 · 
53 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the past three decades has undergone a paradigm shift from symptomatic relief to a "treat-to-target" approach. This has been possible through use of various conventional and biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which target disease pathogenesis at a molecular level. Cost and infection risk preclude regular use of biologics in resource-constrained settings. In the recent years, evidence has emerged that combination therapy with conventional DMARDs is not inferior to biologics in the management of RA and is a feasible cost-effective option.
    03/2015; 6(2):278-83. DOI:10.5312/wjo.v6.i2.278
  • BMJ (online) 03/2015; 350(mar13 27):h1192-h1192. DOI:10.1136/bmj.h1192 · 16.38 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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(mar13 19):h1046. DOI:10.1136/bmj.h1046 · 14.09 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
67 Downloads
Available from
May 27, 2014