A review of tocilizumab treatment in 122 rheumatoid arthritis patients included in the Tsurumai Biologics Communication Registry (TBCR) Study

Yuichiro Yabe, Toshihisa Kojima, Atsushi Kaneko, Nobuyuki Asai, Tomonori Kobayakawa, Naoki Ishiguro
Modern Rheumatology 2013, 23 (2): 245-53

OBJECTIVES: Biologics have transformed the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical remission is now the goal. We sought to verify whether the administration of tocilizumab-a biologic-can help to achieve current treatment goals.

METHODS: Using data from the Tsurumai Biologics Communication Registry for 122 patients treated with tocilizumab, we evaluated changes in DAS28-ESR at 12 months after initiation, and also evaluated remission rates defined using conventional and new Boolean-based remission criteria. We divided 50 patients who had received tocilizumab as a first-line treatment into two groups [disease duration at baseline of 12 months or less (≤12 M) and more than 12 months (>12 M)].

RESULTS: At 12 months after initiation, there was no difference in DAS28-ESR, and remission rates based on the conventional criterion were also comparable (50 % in both groups). However, under the new criterion, remission was 50.0 % in the ≤12 M group against 12.5 % in the >12 M group (p = 0.0181). Among the individual components of the new remission criterion, the small proportion of patients in the >12 M group with a patient global assessment (PtGA) of ≤1 had a particularly strong influence on the remission rate for that group, but this component was not as important for the ≤12 M group.

CONCLUSIONS: When used as a first-line biological drug for patients with early-stage RA (≤12 M), tocilizumab appears to provide high rates of remission under the Boolean-based remission criterion, which were strongly affected by the PtGA.


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