Ronald F van Vollenhoven

Karolinska Institutet, Сольна, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (369)2718.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction This 28-week, phase IIIb study assessed safety and maintenance of response to certolizumab pegol (CZP) in a diverse population of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, stratified by prior anti-TNF exposure, concomitant methotrexate (MTX) use and disease duration. The ability to predict achievement of low disease activity (LDA) at week 28 from improvements in Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), swollen joint count (SJC) and Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) up to week 12 was assessed. Methods The 28-week study population included all patients who completed the double-blind (DB) phase and entered the open-label (OL) phase, receiving 200 mg CZP every 2 weeks (Q2W) ≥16 weeks. In the 12-week DB period, patients with active RA and an inadequate response to ≥1 disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) were randomized 4:1 to CZP (400 mg at weeks 0, 2 and 4 then 200 mg Q2W) or placebo (Q2W), stratified by prior anti-TNF use, concomitant use of MTX and disease duration (<2 years vs. ≥2 years). Results A total of 955 patients entered the OL phase. At week 28, similar clinical improvements were seen in those receiving CZP throughout (CZP → CZP; n = 771) and those receiving placebo during the DB phase and switching to CZP in the OL phase (placebo → CZP; n = 184) (ACR20 response rate = 59.7 % vs. 53.3 %; ACR50/ACR70 response rates were also similar). Effect of CZP treatment was similar regardless of prior anti-TNF use, disease duration and concomitant DMARDs, based on ACR20 response rates. The percentage of patients achieving DAS28(ESR) LDA at week 28 was calculated for DAS28(ESR), SJC or CDAI responders at earlier time points. Reductions from baseline (Δ) of DAS28(ESR) <1.2, ΔSJC <25 % or ΔCDAI <10 by week 12 were associated with <9 % chance of achieving LDA at week 28 regardless of prior anti-TNF exposure. Adverse event rates were similar for placebo → CZP and CZP → CZP patients, with no new safety signals identified. Conclusions A diverse population of RA patients with varying disease duration showed rapid and sustained clinical improvements on CZP treatment, regardless of prior anti-TNF or concomitant DMARD use. Failure to achieve improvements in DAS28(ESR), SJC or CDAI within the first 12 weeks of CZP therapy was associated with a low chance of achieving LDA at week 28. No new safety signals were observed. Trial registration, NCT00717236, 15 July 2008 Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0841-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy 12/2015; 17(1). DOI:10.1186/s13075-015-0841-9 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    11/2015; DOI:10.1002/acr.22777
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To evaluate the use and efficacy of belimumab in academic practices. Belimumab is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits soluble B lymphocyte stimulator and has been approved for the treatment of adults with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: Invitations to participate and complete a 1-page questionnaire for each patient prescribed belimumab were sent to 16 physicians experienced in SLE phase III clinical trials. The outcome was defined as the physician's impression of improvement in the initial manifestation(s) being treated without worsening in other organ systems. Results: Of 195 patients treated with belimumab at 10 academic centers, 96% were taking background medications for SLE at initiation of belimumab, with 74% taking corticosteroids. The main indications for initiation of belimumab were arthritis, rash, and/or worsening serologic activity, with 30% of patients unable to taper corticosteroids. Of the 120 patients taking belimumab for at least 6 months, 51% responded clinically and 67% had ≥ 25% improvement in laboratory values. While numbers are limited, black patients showed improvement at 6 months. In a subset of 39 patients with childhood-onset SLE, 65% responded favorably at 6 months, and 35% discontinued corticosteroids. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate favorable clinical and laboratory outcomes in patients with SLE at 6 months across all racial and ethnic groups, with similar improvement seen among patients with childhood-onset SLE.
    The Journal of Rheumatology 11/2015; DOI:10.3899/jrheum.150470 · 3.19 Impact Factor

  • Value in Health 11/2015; 18(7):A647-A648. DOI:10.1016/j.jval.2015.09.2324 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The efficacy of tocilizumab (TCZ), an anti-interleukin-6 receptor antibody, has not previously been evaluated in a population consisting exclusively of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: In a double-blind randomised controlled trial (FUNCTION), 1162 methotrexate (MTX)-naive patients with early progressive RA were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) to one of four treatment groups: 4 mg/kg TCZ+MTX, 8 mg/kg TCZ+MTX, 8 mg/kg TCZ+placebo and placebo+MTX (comparator group). The primary outcome was remission according to Disease Activity Score using 28 joints (DAS28-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) <2.6) at week 24. Radiographic and physical function outcomes were also evaluated. We report results through week 52. Results: The intent-to-treat population included 1157 patients. Significantly more patients receiving 8 mg/kg TCZ+MTX and 8 mg/kg TCZ+placebo than receiving placebo+MTX achieved DAS28-ESR remission at week 24 (45% and 39% vs 15%; p<0.0001). The 8 mg/kg TCZ+MTX group also achieved significantly greater improvement in radiographic disease progression and physical function at week 52 than did patients treated with placebo+MTX (mean change from baseline in van der Heijde-modified total Sharp score, 0.08 vs 1.14 (p=0.0001); mean reduction in Health Assessment Disability Index, -0.81 vs -0.64 (p=0.0024)). In addition, the 8 mg/kg TCZ+placebo and 4 mg/kg TCZ+MTX groups demonstrated clinical efficacy that was at least as effective as MTX for these key secondary endpoints. Serious adverse events were similar among treatment groups. Adverse events resulting in premature withdrawal occurred in 20% of patients in the 8 mg/kg TCZ+MTX group. Conclusions: TCZ is effective in combination with MTX and as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with early RA. Trial registration number:, number NCT01007435.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 10/2015; DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207628 · 10.38 Impact Factor
  • Ronald F van Vollenhoven · Alexandre Voskuyl · Eric Morand · Cynthia Aranow ·

    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 10/2015; DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208231 · 10.38 Impact Factor
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    Mark C Genovese · Ronald F van Vollenhoven · César Pacheco-Tena · Yanqiong Zhang · Nils Kinnman ·
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Determine the efficacy and safety of VX-509, an oral, selective Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) inhibitor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had an inadequate response to methotrexate therapy. Methods: In this 24-week, double-blind, phase 2b study, 358 patients with active RA were randomized and received at least 1 dose of VX-509 100 mg once daily (mg/d; n=71), 150 mg/d (n=72), 200 mg/d (n=72), 100 mg twice daily (n=72), or placebo (n=71). Primary efficacy assessments were the percentage of patients achieving 20% improvement in American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20) and change from baseline in Disease Activity Score for 28 joints using C-reactive protein (DAS28-CRP) at week 12. Results: At week 12, the ACR20 response rates for VX-509 were 46.5% (100 mg/d), 66.7% (150 mg/d), 56.9% (200 mg/d), and 68.1% (100 mg twice daily) versus 18.3% for placebo (P < 0.001, all comparisons). Change from baseline in DAS28-CRP at week 12 was significantly greater in each VX-509 group versus placebo (P < 0.0001). Improvements were maintained at week 24, as shown by the ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 response rates and mean change from baseline in DAS28-CRP. The most common adverse event in the VX-509 groups was headache (8.7%), and elevated levels of transaminases, lipoproteins, and creatinine were observed. Conclusions: VX-509 significantly improved the signs and symptoms of RA at weeks 12 and 24 compared with placebo when administered in combination with methotrexate. Safety signals included infection and increases in liver transaminases and lipid levels. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Arthritis and Rheumatology 10/2015; DOI:10.1002/art.39473
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    Adrian Levitsky · Malin C. Erlandsson · Ronald F van Vollenhoven · Maria I. Bokarewa ·
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The identification of biomarkers that predict optimal and individual choices of treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis gains increasing attention. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the proto-oncogene survivin might aid in treatment decisions in early rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Serum survivin levels were measured in 302 patients who completed the Swedish pharmacotherapy (SWEFOT) trial at baseline, 3, 12, and 24 months. Survivin levels > 0.45 ng/mL were considered positive. Based on the survivin status, core set outcomes measuring disease activity, functional disability, as well as global health and pain were evaluated after methotrexate (MTX) monotherapy at 3 months, and at 12 and 24 months of follow-up. Treatment of non-responders was randomly intensified with either a combination of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (triple therapy: MTX, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine) or by adding antibodies against tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF). Results: Antirheumatic treatment resulted in an overall decrease of serum survivin levels. Survivin-positive patients at baseline who initially responded to MTX had a higher risk of disease re-activation (OR 3.21 (95 % CI 1.12–9.24), P = 0.032) and failed to improve in their functional disability (P = 0.018) if having continued on MTX monotherapy compared to survivin-negative patients. Ever-smokers who were survivin-positive were less likely to respond to MTX than those who were survivin-negative (OR 1.91 (1.01–3.62), P = 0.045). In survivin-positive patients, triple therapy led to better improvements in disease activity than did MTX + anti-TNF. At 24 months, survivin-positive patients randomized to anti-TNF had a higher risk of active disease than those randomized to triple therapy (OR 3.15 (1.09–9.10), P = 0.037). Discussion: We demonstrate for the first time that survivin is a valuable serologic marker that can distinguish drug-specific clinical responses in early rheumatoid arthritis through the pragmatic clinical setting of the care-based SWEFOT trial. Although treatment response cannot solely be attributable to survivin status, per protocol sensitivity analyses confirmed the superior effect of triple therapy on survivin-positive patients. Conclusions: Survivin-positive patients have poor outcomes if treated with MTX monotherapy. A decrease of survivin levels during treatment is associated with better clinical responses. For survivin-positive patients who fail MTX, triple therapy is associated with better outcomes than anti-TNF therapy.
    BMC Medicine 09/2015; 13(1):247. DOI:10.1186/s12916-015-0485-2 · 7.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To examine the effectiveness of tocilizumab (TCZ) with and without synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (sDMARDs) in a large observational study. Methods: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with TCZ who had a baseline visit and information on concomitant sDMARDs were included. According to baseline data, patients were considered as taking TCZ as monotherapy or combination with sDMARDs. Main study outcomes were the change of Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and TCZ retention. The prescription of TCZ as monotherapy was analysed using logistic regression. CDAI change was analysed with a mixed-effects model for longitudinal data. TCZ retention was analysed with a stratified extended Cox model. Results: Multiple-adjusted analysis suggests that prescription of TCZ as monotherapy varied according to age, corticosteroid use, country of the registry and year of treatment initiation. The change of disease activity assessed by CDAI as well as the likelihood to be in remission were not significantly different whether TCZ was used as monotherapy or in combination with sDMARDs in a covariate-adjusted analysis. Estimates for unadjusted median TCZ retention were 2.3 years (95% CI 1.8 to 2.7) for monotherapy and 3.7 years (lower 95% CI limit 3.1, upper limit not estimable) for combination therapies. In a covariate-adjusted analysis, TCZ retention was also reduced when used as monotherapy, with an increasing difference between mono and combination therapy over time after 1.5 years (p=0.002). Conclusions: TCZ with or without concomitant sDMARDs resulted in comparable clinical response as assessed by CDAI change, but TCZ retention was shorter under monotherapy of TCZ.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2015; DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207760 · 10.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receive treatment with anti-tumour necrosis factors over several years, it is important to evaluate their long-term safety and efficacy. The objective of this study was to examine the safety and benefits of certolizumab pegol (CZP)+methotrexate (MTX) treatment for almost 5 years in patients with RA. Patients who completed the 24-week Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention of Structural Damage (RAPID) 2 randomized controlled trial (RCT; NCT00160602), or who were American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 non-responders at Week 16, entered the open-label extension (OLE; NCT00160641). After ≥6 months treatment with CZP 400 mg every two weeks (Q2W), dose was reduced to 200 mg Q2W, the approved maintenance dose. Safety data are presented from all patients who received ≥1 dose CZP (Safety population, n=612). Efficacy data are presented to Week 232 for the intent-to-treat (ITT, n=492) and Week 24 CZP RCT Completer (n=342) populations, and through 192 weeks of dose-reduction for the Dose-reduction population (patients whose CZP dose was reduced to 200 mg, n=369). Radiographic progression (modified total Sharp score change from RCT baseline >0.5) to Week 128 is reported for the Week 24 CZP Completers. In the RCT, 619 patients were randomized to CZP+MTX (n=492) or placebo+MTX (n=127). Overall, 567 patients (91.6%) entered the OLE: 447 CZP and 120 placebo patients. Of all randomized patients, 358 (57.8%) were ongoing at Week 232. Annual drop-out rates during the first four years ranged from 8.4–15.0%. Event rates per 100 patient-years were 163.0 for adverse events (AEs) and 15.7 for serious AEs. Nineteen patients (3.1%) had fatal AEs (incidence rate=0.8). Clinical improvements in the RCT were maintained to Week 232 in the CZP Completers: mean Disease Activity Score 28 (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) change from baseline was −3.4 and ACR20/50/70 responses 68.4%/47.1%/25.1% (non-responder imputation). Similar improvements observed in the ITT were maintained following dose-reduction. 73.2% of CZP Completers had no radiographic progression at Week 128. In patients with active RA despite MTX therapy, CZP was well tolerated, with no new safety signals identified. CZP provided sustained improvements in clinical outcomes for almost 5 years. Trial registration, NCT00160602 and NCT00160641. Registered 8 September 2005.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy 09/2015; 17(1). DOI:10.1186/s13075-015-0767-2 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2015; DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207814 · 10.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine nephritis outcomes in a prospective multi-ethnic/racial SLE inception cohort. Patients in the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics inception cohort (≤15 months of SLE diagnosis) were assessed annually for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), proteinuria and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Health-related quality of life was measured by the Short Form (36 questions) health survey questionnaire (SF-36) subscales, mental and physical component summary scores. There were 1827 patients, 89% females, mean (s.d.) age 35.1 (13.3) years. The mean (s.d.) SLE duration at enrolment was 0.5 (0.3) years and follow-up 4.6 (3.4) years. LN occurred in 700 (38.3%) patients: 566/700 (80.9%) at enrolment and 134/700 (19.1%) during follow-up. Patients with nephritis were younger, more frequently men and of African, Asian and Hispanic race/ethnicity. The estimated overall 10-year incidence of ESRD was 4.3% (95% CI: 2.8%, 5.8%), and with nephritis was 10.1% (95% CI: 6.6%, 13.6%). Patients with nephritis had a higher risk of death (HR = 2.98, 95% CI: 1.48, 5.99; P = 0.002) and those with eGFR <30 ml/min at diagnosis had lower SF-36 physical component summary scores (P < 0.01) and lower Physical function, Physical role and Bodily pain scores. Over time, patients with abnormal eGFR and proteinuria had lower SF-36 mental component summary (P ≤ 0.02) scores compared to patients with normal values. LN occurred in 38.3% of SLE patients, frequently as the initial presentation, in a large multi-ethnic inception cohort. Despite current standard of care, nephritis was associated with ESRD and death, and renal insufficiency was linked to lower health-related quality of life. Further advances are required for the optimal treatment of LN. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 09/2015; DOI:10.1093/rheumatology/kev311 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and aims: We studied damage accrual and factors determining development and progression of damage in an international cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. Methods: The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) Inception Cohort recruited patients within 15 months of developing four or more 1997 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for SLE; the SLICC/ACR damage index (SDI) was measured annually. We assessed relative rates of transition using maximum likelihood estimation in a multistate model. The Kaplan-Meier method estimated the probabilities for time to first increase in SDI score and Cox regression analysis was used to assess mortality. Results: We recruited 1722 patients; mean (SD) age 35.0 (13.4) years at cohort entry. Patients with damage at enrolment were more likely to have further worsening of SDI (SDI 0 vs ≥1; p<0.001). Age, USA African race/ethnicity, SLEDAI-2K score, steroid use and hypertension were associated with transition from no damage to damage, and increase(s) in pre-existing damage. Male gender (relative transition rates (95% CI) 1.48 (1.06 to 2.08)) and USA Caucasian race/ethnicity (1.63 (1.08 to 2.47)) were associated with SDI 0 to ≥1 transitions; Asian race/ethnicity patients had lower rates of new damage (0.60 (0.39 to 0.93)). Antimalarial use was associated with lower rates of increases in pre-existing damage (0.63 (0.44 to 0.89)). Damage was associated with future mortality (HR (95% CI) 1.46 (1.18 to 1.81) per SDI point). Conclusions: Damage in SLE predicts future damage accrual and mortality. We identified several potentially modifiable risk factors for damage accrual; an integrated strategy to address these may improve long-term outcomes.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2015; 74(9). DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-205171 · 10.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To assess the effect of a simple intervention on Anti-Nuclear Antibody (ANA) test overuse by rheumatologists. Methods This was an explorative, pragmatic before and after controlled implementation study among rheumatologists working at three rheumatology departments of secondary and tertiary care centers in the Netherlands. The intervention was given in all study centers separately and combined education with feedback. Six outcome measures describe the intervention effects: the ANA/new patient ratio (APR), difference with the target APR, percentage of positive ANA tests, percentage of repeated ANA testing, percentage of ANA associated diseases and APR variation between rheumatologists. Outcomes were compared between the pre- and post-intervention period (both 12 months) using (multilevel) logistic regression or F-testing. Results are reported together for center 1 and 2, and separately for center 3 because ANA tests could not be linked to an individual rheumatologist in center 3. Results The APR decreased from 0.37 to 0.11 after the intervention in center 1 and 2 (odds ratio (OR) 0.19, 95%-confidence interval (95%-CI) 0.17 to 0.22, p-value <0.001) and from 0.45 to 0.30 in center 3 (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.62, p <0.001). The percentage of repeated ANA requests in all centers and the APR variation center 1 and 2 decreased significantly. Only in center 3 the percentage of ANA associated diseases increased significantly. Conclusion A simple intervention resulted in a relevant and significant decrease in the numbers of ANA tests requested by rheumatologists, together with an improvement on three other outcome measures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    09/2015; DOI:10.1002/acr.22725
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To compare the effectiveness of biologics after rituximab (RTX) treatment in RA. Methods. The effectiveness of TNF-α inhibitors (TNFi), abatacept (ABA) or tocilizumab (TCZ) was examined in patients previously treated with RTX using clinical data collected in the Collaborative Registries for the Evaluation of Rituximab in RA Collaborative registry. Patients had stopped RTX 6 months or less prior to the new biologic and had a baseline visit within 21 days of starting the new biologic. Results. Two hundred and sixty-five patients were analysed after 6 months of treatment. Patients on TCZ (n = 86) had a greater decline of DAS28-ESR and clinical disease activity index than patients on TNFi (n = 89) or ABA (n = 90). This effect was also seen after adjusting for baseline prednisone use and the number of previous biologics. The mean DAS28-ESR scores in patients on TCZ were 1.0 (95% CI: 0.2, 1.7) and 1.8 (95% CI: 1.0, 2.5) points lower than in patients on TNFi or ABA, respectively. In patients on TCZ, the clinical disease activity index was 9.4 (95% CI: 1.7, 16.1) and 8.1 (95% CI: 0.9, 15.3) points lower than on TNFi and ABA, respectively. Patients on TCZ more frequently had good EULAR responses than patients on TNFi or ABA (66 vs 31 vs 14%, P < 0.001). The HAQ disability index improved in all treatment groups (P < 0.001), but did not differ between biologics, as did drug retention rates. The reasons for discontinuation of RTX and the number of previous biologics had no influence on outcomes. Conclusion. In this observational cohort of patients who discontinued RTX, TCZ provided a better control of RA than ABA or TNFi.
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/rheumatology/kev297 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • J T Merrill · R F van Vollenhoven · J P Buyon · R A Furie · W Stohl · M Morgan-Cox · C Dickson · P W Anderson · C Lee · P-Y Berclaz · T Dörner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To evaluate the efficacy and safety of tabalumab, a human IgG4 monoclonal antibody that neutralises membrane and soluble B-cell activating factor (BAFF). Methods This randomised, placebo-controlled study enrolled 1124 patients with moderate-to-severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment- SLE Disease Activity Index ≥6 at baseline). Patients received standard of care plus subcutaneous study drug, starting with a loading dose (240 mg) at week 0 and followed by 120 mg every 2 weeks (120 Q2W), 120 mg every 4 weeks (120 Q4W) or placebo. Primary endpoint was proportion achieving SLE Responder Index 5 (SRI-5) improvement at week 52. Results Clinical characteristics were balanced across groups. The primary endpoint was met with 120 Q2W (38.4% vs 27.7%, placebo; p=0.002), but not with the less frequent 120 Q4W regimen (34.8%, p=0.051). Although key secondary endpoints (time to severe flare, corticosteroid sparing and fatigue) were not met, patients treated with tabalumab had greater SRI-5 response rates in a serologically active subset and improvements in more stringent SRI cut-offs, SELENA-SLEDAI, Physician's Global Assessment, anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies, complement, total B cells and immunoglobulins. The incidences of deaths, serious adverse events (AEs), and treatment-emergent AEs were similar in the 120 Q2W, 120 Q4W and placebo groups, but depression and suicidal ideation, albeit rare events, were more commonly reported with tabalumab. Conclusion SRI-5 was met with 120 Q2W and although key secondary endpoints were not met, numerous other secondary endpoints significantly improved in addition to pharmacodynamic evidence of BAFF pathway blockade. The safety profile for tabalumab was similar to placebo, except for depression and suicidality, which were uncommon. Trial registration number NCT01205438.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 08/2015; DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207654 · 10.38 Impact Factor
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    Ronald F van Vollenhoven · Roy M Fleischmann · Daniel E Furst · Stuart Lacey · Patricia B Lehane ·
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    ABSTRACT: Final evaluation of the longterm safety of rituximab (RTX) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) up to 11 years. Pooled observed case analysis of data from patients with moderate to severe, active RA in a global clinical trial program. As of September 2012, 3595 patients received a mean of 4 courses (range 1-20) of RTX over 11 years [14,816 patient-years (PY)]. Of these, 1246 patients had > 5 years of followup (8970 PY). A pooled placebo population (n = 818) was included in the analysis. The overall serious infection event (SIE) rate was 3.76/100 PY (2.71/100 PY in patients observed for > 5 yrs) and comparable with rates reported previously at 9.5 years (3.94/100 PY and 3.26/100 PY, respectively). SIE rates continued to be similar before and during/after development of low immunoglobulin levels, and serious opportunistic infections remained rare. Rates of cardiac events remained consistent with previous analysis and with rates in the general RA population. No increased risk of malignancy over time was observed. This final report demonstrates that RTX remains well tolerated over time and multiple courses. No new safety risks were identified and there was no increase in the rate of any types of adverse events with prolonged exposure to RTX during 11 years of observation.
    The Journal of Rheumatology 08/2015; 42(10). DOI:10.3899/jrheum.150051 · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    György Nagy · Ronald F van Vollenhoven ·
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of new medications and new treatment strategies for rheumatoid arthritis has made it possible to achieve remission in more patients than before. Furthermore, recent clinical trials and register studies suggest that some patients who initially required aggressive therapy may achieve biologic-free remission or even the ultimate goal of therapy, drug-free remission, resembling recovery. Here, we present a discursive review of the most important studies addressing these issues. Based on the overall results, it remains unclear if achieving biologic-free and drug-free remissions are primarily due to the natural course of the disease or to the early therapeutic intervention according to the ‘window of opportunity’ hypothesis. Although medication-free remission is only achievable in a small subset of patients, characterizing this patient cohort may provide important information about beneficial prognostic factors and the underlying mechanisms. In summary, in a subset of patients biologic-free and even drug-free remission can be achieved; pursuing these possibilities in practice may decrease the risk for long-term side effects and attenuate the economic burden of the disease.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy 08/2015; 17(1). DOI:10.1186/s13075-015-0707-1 · 3.75 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

12k Citations
2,718.31 Total Impact Points


  • 2003-2015
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • • Clinical Epidemiology Unit
      • • Department of Rheumatology
      • • Department of Medicine, Huddinge
      Сольна, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2000-2015
    • Karolinska University Hospital
      • Department of Rheumatology
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2008
    • University of Birmingham
      • School of Immunity and Infection
      Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007-2008
    • Toronto Western Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1994-2002
    • Stanford Medicine
      • Division of Immunology and Rheumatology
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 1998
    • Stanford University
      • Division of Rheumatology
      Palo Alto, CA, United States