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JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Tocilizumab inhibits structural joint damage and improves physical function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and inadequate responses to methotrexate: LITHE study 2-year results

Roy M Fleischmann, Anne-Marie Halland, Marek Brzosko, Ruben Burgos-Vargas, Christopher Mela, Emma Vernon, Joel M Kremer
Journal of Rheumatology 2013, 40 (2): 113-26
23322466

OBJECTIVE: To assess radiographic progression, physical function, clinical disease activity, and safety in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had inadequate response to methotrexate (MTX) and who were treated with tocilizumab-MTX or MTX during Year 2 of a 2-year study.

METHODS: During Year 1, patients were randomized to placebo-MTX, 4 mg/kg tocilizumab-MTX, or 8 mg/kg tocilizumab-MTX. During Year 2, patients continued the initial double-blind treatment or switched to open-label 8 mg/kg tocilizumab-MTX. Co-primary endpoints at Week 104 were mean change from baseline in Genant-modified Total Sharp Score (GmTSS) and adjusted mean area under the curve (AUC) for change from baseline in the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI). Signs and symptoms of RA and safety were also evaluated.

RESULTS: At Week 104, mean change from baseline in GmTSS was significantly lower for patients initially randomized to tocilizumab-MTX 4 mg/kg (0.58; p = 0.0025) or 8 mg/kg (0.37; p < 0.0001) than for patients initially randomized to placebo-MTX (1.96). Adjusted mean AUC of change from baseline in HAQ-DI was also significantly lower in patients initially randomized to tocilizumab-MTX 4 mg/kg (-287.5; p < 0.0001) or 8 mg/kg (-320.8; p < 0.0001) than in patients initially randomized to placebo-MTX (-139.4). Signs and symptoms of RA were maintained or showed improvement. No new safety signals were noted.

CONCLUSION: Compared with placebo-MTX, tocilizumab-MTX significantly inhibited structural joint damage and improved physical function in patients with RA who previously had inadequate response to MTX. An extension of this study is continuing and will provide additional longterm efficacy and safety data. National Clinical Trials registry NCT00106535.

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