Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 49–55 | Cite as

Tocilizumab for the treatment of adult-onset Still’s disease: results from a case series

  • Paola CiprianiEmail author
  • Piero Ruscitti
  • Francesco Carubbi
  • Ilenia Pantano
  • Vasiliki Liakouli
  • Onorina Berardicurti
  • Roberto Giacomelli
Original Article


Adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology which commonly affects young adults. Treatment of AOSD patients includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and DMARDs. Interleukin (IL)-6 blockade is an attractive therapeutic option for AOSD because this cytokine contributes to the pathogenesis of major AOSD symptoms. Tocilizumab (TCZ) is a humanized anti-IL-6 receptor antibody that blocks the effects of IL-6. Preliminary results of TCZ in AOSD have been promising. Here, we reported our experience evaluating both the safety and the efficacy of 12 months therapy with TCZ in 11 patients with AOSD refractory to corticosteroids and MTX therapy, followed for 18 months, including the first 12 months of active treatment and the last 6 months to evaluate the activity of the disease when the treatment was discontinued. The main outcome measures were the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) improvement criteria and improvement of systemic symptoms at the 3, 6, 12, and 18-months follow-up periods. Our patients rapidly responded and experienced a sustained clinical remission over time during active treatment. Disease Activity Score 28 decreased from 5.62 (3.75–8.28) [median (range)] at baseline to 1.61(0.49–3.5) at month 12. EULAR remission was achieved in 81.82 % at 12 months. Tender joint and swollen joint counts displayed a progressive reduction during active therapy study period. During treatment, we observed a resolution of fever in our AOSD patient. In conclusion, TCZ might represent a suitable option for the therapy of refractory AOSD patients.


Adult-onset Still’s disease First line therapy Interleukin-6 Tocilizumab 



The authors thank Mrs. Federica Sensini for her technical assistance.




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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Cipriani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Piero Ruscitti
    • 1
  • Francesco Carubbi
    • 1
  • Ilenia Pantano
    • 1
  • Vasiliki Liakouli
    • 1
  • Onorina Berardicurti
    • 1
  • Roberto Giacomelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Science, Rheumatology Unit, School of MedicineUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

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