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Defining and characterizing sustained remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

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Curtis JR1, Trivedi M2, Haraoui B3, Emery P4, Park GS2, Collier DH2, Aras GA2, Chung J2. Clin Rheumatol. 2018 Apr;37(4):885-893. doi: 10.1007/s10067-017-3923-z. Epub 2017 Dec 9.

Abstract

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1 University of Alabama at Birmingham, 510 20th Street South, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA. jcurtis@uab.edu.

2 Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.

3 Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montreal, Canada.

4 Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, Chapel Allerton Hospital, NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK.

Abstract

The objective of this study is to characterize stability and clinical features of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in sustained remission. Combination therapy with methotrexate and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) has increased remission rates in RA but optimal regimens to maintain remission are unknown. We describe Study of Etanercept And Methotrexate in Combination or as Monotherapy in Subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis (SEAM-RA) and data from a run-in period of longitudinal observation. Patients in Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) remission (score ≤ 3.3) receiving etanercept and methotrexate were screened and had to maintain remission over 3 run-in visits/24 weeks before randomization to combination therapy or withdrawal of etanercept or methotrexate. Baseline characteristics were examined for predictive factors for maintaining remission. As of November 2016, 141 patients have enrolled; of these, 64 have been randomized, 34 were ineligible after run-in, and 43 are in run-in period; 70% have completed run-in. Enrolled and randomized patients, respectively, had mean (standard deviation [SD]) disease duration 11.0 (8.6) and 12.6 (9.7) years; mean (SD) duration of etanercept use 4.2 (3.8) and 4.9 (4.2) years; mean (SD) methotrexate dose 15.9 (4.8) and 15.5 (4.9) mg/week; and mean (SD) SDAI scores 1.5 (0.9) and 1.4 (0.8). At enrollment, 73% and 63% were in Boolean remission based on 28 joints and 66/68 joints, respectively. No enrollment characteristic predicted successful completion of run-in. Two-thirds of patients considered to be in remission at enrollment sustained remission through 24 weeks. Baseline characteristics of enrolled patients and those who completed run-in were comparable.