, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 116-121
Date: 28 Jun 2011

Which subgroup of rheumatoid arthritis patients benefits from switching to tocilizumab versus etanercept after previous infliximab failure? A retrospective study

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A retrospective study of 39 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with an inadequate response to infliximab was conducted. The responses of subjects switching from infliximab to tocilizumab (n = 23) were compared to those of subjects switching to etanercept (n = 16). Disease activity was assessed by the Disease Activity Score 28-CRP ([C-reactive protein] DAS28-CRP), the Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI), and the Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI). Twenty-two patients completed 48 weeks of tocilizumab treatment, and 15 patients completed 48 weeks of etanercept treatment. In both treatment groups, 1 patient each discontinued treatment because of lack of efficacy. No serious adverse events occurred during the study, and no patients in either group withdrew due to adverse events. At week 48, there was a significant reduction from baseline in DAS28-CRP, SDAI, and CDAI values after switching to either tocilizumab or etanercept, and there was no significant difference in efficacy, as measured by the DAS28-CRP, SDAI, and CDAI, between the two treatment groups (p = 0.12, 0.76, and 0.86, respectively). These results suggest that safety and tolerability were similar for both treatments. A switch from infliximab to either tocilizumab or etanercept in patients with RA who have not responded to infliximab is a feasible, well-tolerated treatment option.