Novel therapies for ankylosing spondylitis
- Cite this article as:
- Maksymowych, W.P. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2005) 7: 182. doi:10.1007/s11926-996-0037-z
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Recent interest in therapeutic developments for ankylosing spondylitis has focused primarily on two anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapies, infliximab and etanercept, with several reports establishing their efficacy in pivotal phase III trials. Open extension analyses of earlier controlled trials have also shown that efficacy is maintained for at least 3 years, that monotherapy is adequate, and that treatment is well tolerated with few serious infections. Treatment is associated with reduction in sick leave and days spent in hospital. Despite induction of antinuclear antibodies and anti-ds DNA antibodies, clinical sequelae are rare. Reduction in magnetic resonance imaging parameters of inflammation and serologic biomarkers of cartilage turnover suggest that these agents may be disease-modifying though direct evidence from plain radiographic studies is still lacking. Conventional second line therapies typically used in rheumatoid arthritis have also been examined and while leflunomide appears to possess limited efficacy, there may be a case for re-examining the value of methotrexate.