Repeat etanercept administration restores clinical response of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
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- Wakabayashi, H., Sudo, A., Nishioka, Y. et al. Rheumatol Int (2012) 32: 3675. doi:10.1007/s00296-011-2124-3
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We determined whether repeated treatment with the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) antagonist etanercept can be effective after an initial clinical response to this drug is lost. We describe three female patients with active, refractory rheumatoid arthritis who were administered with a second course of etanercept after eventually becoming refractory to a first course. Disease activity was high in all three patients before initial etanercept therapy, and each of them had clinically responded by 24 weeks. However, the initial clinical effect was lost between 1.5 and 3.5 years thereafter, and tocilizumab was administered, but the effect was lost again between 3 and 18 months later. Two patients did not respond to subsequent treatment with adalimumab and infliximab. Etanercept administered once again reduced disease activity in all three patients, none of whom developed any acute side effects. Etanercept re-administration significantly improved clinical disease activity and inflammatory parameters in three patients with RA who were refractory to biological anti-TNF agents.