The benefit-risk balance for biological agents in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Natalia Cabrera, Gabriela Avila-Pedretti, Alexandre Belot, Jean-Paul Larbre, Sabine Mainbourg, Agn├Ęs Duquesne, Perrine Janiaud, Behrouz Kassai, Michel Cucherat, Jean-Christophe Lega
Rheumatology 2020 September 1, 59 (9): 2226-2236

OBJECTIVE: To assess the net benefit of biological agents (BA) used in JIA.

METHODS: We systematically searched databases up to March 2019 for randomized controlled trials (RCT) performed in JIA disease. Separate random-effects meta-analyses were conducted for efficacy (ACR paediatric score 30%, ACRpedi30) and serious adverse events for safety. In order to standardize the baseline risk, we performed a meta-analysis of baseline risk in the control group (for both efficacy and safety meta-analysis). The net benefit was determined as the risk difference of efficacy subtracted by the risk difference of safety.

RESULTS: We included 19 trials: 11 parallel RCTs (754 patients) and 8 withdrawal RCTs (704 patients). The net benefit ranged from 2.4% (adalimumab) to 17.6% (etanercept), and from 2.4% (etanercept) to 36.7%, (abatacept) in parallel and withdrawal trials assessing non-systemic JIA, respectively. In the systemic JIA category, the net benefit ranged from 22.8% (rilonacept) to 70.3% (canakinumab), and from 32.3% (canakinumab) to 58.2% (tocilizumab) in parallel and withdrawal trials, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that a greater number of patients experienced therapeutic success without serious adverse events in the systemic onset JIA category compared with the BAs for non-systemic JIA categories. Baseline risk, design of trial and JIA categories impact the measure of net benefit of BAs in JIA patients.

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