Tocilizumab Reduces Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tocilizumab-induced reduction of disease activity seen using three distinct composite measures

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis is reduced by tocilizumab treatment, regardless of the measure by which it is evaluated, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Josef S. Smolen, M.D., and Daniel Aleteha, M.D., from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, examined data from tocilizumab clinical trials, in which patients had active rheumatoid arthritis despite receiving treatment. Disease activity was measured by Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI) scores, Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) scores, and the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28).

The investigators found that changes in all scores were significantly higher in patients receiving tocilizumab compared with those receiving placebo. The level of change was similar in the SDAI and CDAI scores. DAS28 remission rates were higher than those of SDAI and CDAI. A minority of tocilizumab-treated patients considered in remission according to DAS28 criteria were also in remission according to SDAI (26 percent) and CDAI (21 percent). Remission rates according to SDAI and CDAI were similar to those seen with infliximab treatment; whereas, DAS28 remission rates were higher with tocilizumab.

"The results obtained using the pooled tocilizumab clinical trial data show that a significant proportion of patients achieved a state of low disease activity," the authors write.

Some funding provided by Roche. Both authors disclosed financial ties with pharmaceutical companies, including Roche.

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