for the IMAGE Investigators. Inhibition of joint damage and improved clinical outcomes with rituximab plus methotrexate in early active rheumatoid arthritis: the IMAGE trial

Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases (Impact Factor: 10.38). 10/2010; 70(1):39-46. DOI: 10.1136/ard.2010.137703
Source: PubMed


Rituximab is an effective treatment in patients with established rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The objective of the IMAGE study was to determine the efficacy of rituximab in the prevention of joint damage and its safety in combination with methotrexate (MTX) in patients initiating treatment with MTX.
In this double-blind randomised controlled phase III study, 755 MTX-naïve patients with active RA were randomly assigned to MTX alone, rituximab 2×500 mg + MTX or rituximab 2×1000 mg + MTX. The primary end point at week 52 was the change in joint damage measured using a Genant-modified Sharp score.
249, 249 and 250 patients were randomly assigned to MTX alone, rituximab 2×500 mg + MTX or rituximab 2×1000 mg + MTX, respectively. At week 52, treatment with rituximab 2×1000 mg + MTX compared with MTX alone was associated with a reduction in progression of joint damage (mean change in total modified Sharp score 0.359 vs 1.079; p=0.0004) and an improvement in clinical outcomes (ACR50 65% vs 42%; p<0.0001); rituximab 2×500 mg + MTX improved clinical outcomes (ACR50 59% vs 42%; p<0.0001) compared with MTX alone but did not significantly reduce the progression of joint damage. Safety outcomes were similar between treatment groups.
Treatment with rituximab 2×1000 mg in combination with MTX is an effective therapy for the treatment of patients with MTX-naïve RA. identifier NCT00299104.

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    • "Generally, 13–68% of early, untreated patients with RA who are naïve to DMARDs achieve clinical remission [defined as a DAS28 (Disease Activity Score including 28 joints) o 2.6 or DAS44 (including 44 joints) o 1.6) within 6 to 12 months of receiving MTX treatment [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Methotrexate (MTX) is the cornerstone of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment. Recently updated recommendations by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) show MTX as an important part of the first-line strategy in patients with active RA. The study presented here aimed to assess the clinical effectiveness and tolerability of subcutaneous (SC) MTX among patients with RA. Patients with RA who were naïve at baseline to both conventional and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology/EULAR 2010 criteria, and had one or more follow-up visits were selected through sequential chart review for analysis of retrospective data. Patients received SC MTX at varying doses (10-25mg per week). The primary end point was a change in the Disease Activity Score including 28 joints (DAS28); secondary end points included time to employment of the first biologic agent and cumulative MTX doses. Overall, 70 patients were in follow-up for a mean of 1.8 years after initiating SC MTX treatment. During this time, 37 (53%) remained on SC MTX without any biologics (MTX-only) and 33 (47%) required the addition of a biologic therapy (MTX-biol). Biologic therapy was required after a mean ± SD of 387 ± 404 days. Mean weekly MTX doses were 17.4mg for patients in the MTX-only group and 19.1mg for patients in the MTX-biol group. Mean baseline DAS28 were similar for patients in the MTX-biol and MTX-only groups (4.9 and 4.7, respectively). Both low disease activity state (LDAS) and remission were achieved by slightly fewer patients in the MTX-biol than MTX-only groups (LDAS, 78.8% vs 81.1%; remission, 69.7% vs 75.7%). Over the full course of the study period, SC MTX was discontinued in 32 patients (46%). Among those who discontinued, the most common reasons were gastrointestinal discomfort (n = 7), lack of efficacy (n = 7), and disease remission (n = 3). Severe infections occurred in 3 patients in the MTX-biol group and 3 patients in the MTX-only group. SC MTX is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with RA. SC MTX resulted in high rates of remission and LDAS in early disease, over prolonged periods of time, it, therefore, may extend the time before patients require initiation of biologic therapy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism
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    • "Until December 31 2009 the present search identified all 28 combination studies [3], [17]–[43] identified in our previous search [1] plus one additional study published in 2005 [44]. In addition the present search revealed three new references [45]–[47] (4 investigations) published in 2011 and 6 studies published in 2012 [48]–[53]. In total 38 “combination treatment” references (39 trials, 45 treatment groups) were included. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite significant cost differences, the comparative effect of combination treatments of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) with and without biologic agents has rarely been examined. Thus we performed a network meta-analysis on the effect of combination therapies on progression of radiographic joint erosions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods and Findings The following combination drug therapies compared versus single DMARD were investigated: Double DMARD: 2 DMARDs (methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, injectable gold, cyclosporine, chloroquine, azathioprin, penicillamin) or 1 DMARD plus low dose glucocorticoid (LDGC); triple DMARD: 3 DMARDs or 2 DMARDs plus LDGC; biologic combination: 1 DMARD plus biologic agent (tumor necrosis factor α inhibitor (TNFi) or abatacept or tocilizumab or CD20 inhibitor (CD20i)). Randomized controlled trials were identified in a search of electronic archives of biomedical literature and included in a star-shaped network meta-analysis and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement protocol. Effects are reported as standardized mean differences (SMD). The effects of data from 39 trials published in the period 1989–2012 were as follows: Double DMARD: −0.32 SMD (CI: −0.42, −0.22); triple DMARD: −0.46 SMD (CI: −0.60, −0.31); 1 DMARD plus TNFi: −0.30 SMD (CI: −0.36, −0.25); 1 DMARD plus abatacept: −0.20 SMD (CI: −0.33, −0.07); 1 DMARD plus tocilizumab: −0.34 SMD (CI: −0.48, −0.20); 1 DMARD plus CD20i: −0.32 SMD (CI: −0.40, −0.24). The indirect comparisons showed similar effects between combination treatments apart from triple DMARD being significantly better than abatacept plus methotrexate (−0.26 SMD (CI: −0.45, −0.07)) and TNFi plus methotrexate (−0.16 SMD (CI: −0.31, −0.01)). Conclusion Combination treatment of a biologic agent with 1 DMARD is not superior to 2–3 DMARDs including or excluding LDGC in preventing structural joint damage. Future randomized studies of biologic agents should be compared versus a combination of DMARDs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Out of the 36 RA trials included in this analysis, eight studies applied study drugs to MTX-naïve patients [16, 21, 24, 30, 31, 33, 37, 42], and one study on csDMARD-naïve patients [23]. The rest of the studies involved patients with prior inadequate response to csDMARDs. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy and safety of infliximab-biosimilar and other available biologicals for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), namely abatacept, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab and tocilizumab. A systematic literature review of MEDLINE database until August 2013 was carried out to identify relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Bayesian mixed treatment comparison method was applied for the pairwise comparison of treatments. Improvement rates by the American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR20 and ACR50) at week 24 were used as efficacy endpoints, and the occurrence of serious adverse events was considered to assess the safety of the biologicals. Thirty-six RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. All the biological agents proved to be superior to placebo. For ACR20 response, certolizumab pegol showed the highest odds ratio (OR) compared to placebo, OR 7.69 [95 % CI 3.69-14.26], followed by abatacept OR 3.7 [95 % CI 2.17-6.06], tocilizumab OR 3.69 [95 % CI 1.87-6.62] and infliximab-biosimilar OR 3.47 [95 % CI 0.85-9.7]. For ACR50 response, certolizumab pegol showed the highest OR compared to placebo OR 8.46 [3.74-16.82], followed by tocilizumab OR 5.57 [95 % CI 2.77-10.09], and infliximab-biosimilar OR 4.06 [95 % CI 1.01-11.54]. Regarding the occurrence of serious adverse events, the results show no statistically significant difference between infliximab-biosimilar and placebo, OR 1.87 [95 % CI 0.74-3.84]. No significant difference regarding efficacy and safety was found between infliximab-biosimilar and the other biological treatments. This is the first indirect meta-analysis in RA that compares the efficacy and safety of biosimilar-infliximab to the other biologicals indicated in RA. We found no significant difference between infliximab-biosimilar and other biological agents in terms of clinical efficacy and safety.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · The European Journal of Health Economics
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