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1.  Long-term safety and efficacy of tocilizumab, an anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, in monotherapy, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (the STREAM study): evidence of safety and efficacy in a 5-year extension study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2008;68(10):1580-1584.
To evaluate the safety and efficacy of 5-year, long-term tocilizumab monotherapy for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
In an open-label, long-term extension trial following an initial 3-month randomised phase II trial, 143 of the 163 patients who participated in the initial blinded study received tocilizumab monotherapy (8 mg/kg) every 4 weeks. Concomitant therapy with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or oral prednisolone (10 mg daily maximum) was permitted. All patients were evaluated with American College of Rheumatology (ACR) improvement criteria, disease activity score (DAS) in 28 joints, and the European League Against Rheumatism response, as well as for safety issues.
143 patients were enrolled in the open-label, long-term extension trial and 94 (66%) patients had completed 5 years as of March 2007. 32 patients (22%) withdrew from the study due to adverse events and one patient (0.7%) due to unsatisfactory response. 14 patients withdrew because of the patient’s request or other reasons. The serious adverse event rate was 27.5 events per 100 patient-years, with 5.7 serious infections per 100 patient-years, based on a total tocilizumab exposure of 612 patient-years. Of the 88 patients receiving corticosteroids at baseline, 78 (88.6%) were able to decrease their corticosteroid dose and 28 (31.8%) discontinued corticosteroids. At 5 years, 79/94 (84.0%), 65/94 (69.1%) and 41/94 (43.6%) of the patients achieved ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 improvement criteria, respectively. Remission defined as DAS28 less than 2.6 was achieved in 52/94 (55.3%) of the patients.
In this 5-year extension study, tocilizumab demonstrated sustained long-term efficacy and a generally good safety profile.
PMCID: PMC2732899  PMID: 19019888
3.  Laboratory and febrile features after joint surgery in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with tocilizumab 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2008;68(5):654-657.
To understand the acute phase responses to surgical intervention in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with the anti-interleukin (IL)6 receptor antibody, tocilizumab.
In a retrospective 1:1 pair-matched case-control study, 22 tocilizumab-treated RA cases and 22 cases treated with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and matched for type of surgery, age and sex were evaluated for body temperature every day, and blood C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and white blood cell (WBC), neutrophil and lymphocyte counts on days −1, 1, 3 and weeks 1 and 2 after joint surgery. Safety issues were also monitored.
No complications of infection or delay of wound healing occurred in either patient group. Tocilizumab partially, but significantly, suppressed the increase in body temperature on postoperative days 1 and 2, compared with DMARDs (average (SD) maximum increase in temperature was 0.45 (0.1)°C in the tocilizumab group and 0.78 (0.1)°C in the DMARD group; p<0.01). Tocilizumab completely suppressed the increase in CRP after surgery, whereas all cases treated with DMARDs showed a significant increase of CRP at postoperative day 1 (5.5 (0.6) mg/dl; p<0.001). WBC, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts showed no remarkable change after surgery, and there was no significant difference in any cell counts between the patient groups.
Within this small number of cases, safe operations on patients were performed during tocilizumab treatment. Tocilizumab suppressed fever and increase of CRP after surgery, whereas there was no influence on the transition in number of leukocytes. This characteristic postoperative response should be considered during tocilizumab treatment.
PMCID: PMC2663710  PMID: 18519424
4.  Anti-interleukin 6 receptor antibody treatment in rheumatic disease 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2000;59(Suppl 1):i21-i27.
Interleukin 6 (IL6) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a wide range of biological activities. IL6 transgene into mice gives rise to the abnormalities such as hyper-γ-globulinaemia, thrombocytosis, infiltration of inflammatory cells into the tissues, mesangial cell proliferation of the kidney as well as splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy, which are predictable by the biological functions of IL6 shown in vitro. Continuous overproduction of IL6 is observed in patients with some immune-inflammatory diseases such as Castleman's disease and rheumatoid arthritis that are frequently associated with similar abnormalities to those of IL6 transgenic mice, strongly suggesting the involvement of IL6 in the human diseases. Successful treatment of the model animals for immune-inflammatory diseases with anti-IL6 receptor (IL6R) antibody thus indicates the possible application of IL6 blocking agents to treat the IL6 related immune-inflammatory diseases of humans. In this review, the new therapeutic strategy for Castleman's disease and RA using humanised antibody to human IL6 receptor, MRA, is discussed.

PMCID: PMC1766618  PMID: 11053081
6.  Fibronectin promotes the proliferation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes generated from cancer patients. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;74(10):1598-1604.
We studied whether fibronectin (FN) enhances the activity of autologous tumour-reactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) generated from cancer patients. The proliferation of CTLs stimulated by immobilised anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody and interleukin 2 (IL-2) was enhanced three or four times by immobilised FN. whereas soluble FN did not alter the DNA synthesis of CTLs. Moreover, the cytotoxic activity of CTLs was augmented by FN stimulation against autologous tumour cells [4 h 51Cr release assay: FN(+) 16.7 +/- 4.7% vs FN (-) 11.8 +/- 3.1%; 16 h 51Cr release assay: FN(+) 24.8 +/- 4.7% vs FN (-) 16.5 +/- 5.7%, P<0.05]. The major cell surface phenotype of CTLs with FN was CD3+, CD4+ and CD25+ in 6 weeks' culture. Cytotoxicity against autologous tumour cells was inhibited by anti-HLA class I monoclonal antibody (MAb). The autologous tumour-killing activity of CTLs was suppressed by the elimination of CD4+ cells. Moreover, the cytokine production of CTLs was augmented by FN stimulation. Especially, the production of IL-2, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) was significantly augmented by FN stimulation (P<0.05). Thus, CTLs generated by FN might have both killer and helper functions, since they could lyse autologous tumour cells and secrete various cytokines, including IL-2.
PMCID: PMC2074855  PMID: 8932341
7.  Transfer of rheumatoid arthritis into severe combined immunodeficient mice. The pathogenetic implications of T cell populations oligoclonally expanding in the rheumatoid joints. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1995;96(4):1746-1758.
To investigate the pathogenicity of T cells infiltrating in the rheumatoid joints, mononuclear cells (MNC), predominantly T cells, isolated from either synovial fluid or synovial tissues of the patients with RA were transferred into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice by intraarticular injections. According to our observations in this experimental system, patients with RA could be classified into at least two groups. In one group of patients, the infiltrating MNC induced synovial hyperplasia in the recipient SCID mice (the positive group). Whereas, in the other group no synovial hyperplasia was observed (the negative group). The induction of synovial hyperplasia observed in the positive group was prevented by an anti-human CD3 antibody (OKT3), indicating T cell mediation. Analysis of T cell receptor (TCR) V beta usage by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in the infiltrating MNC transferred into SCID mice revealed a marked skew towards the preferential use of certain V beta genes, which was not seen in the peripheral blood MNC, in only the positive group. The patterns of TCR/V beta skew were not uniform among the patients. The analysis of the PCR-amplified genes of such skewed TCR/ V beta by single strand conformational polymorphism showed distinct bands, indicating that the T cell populations expanding in rheumatoid joints of the positive group were oligoclonal. Furthermore, the enrichment of the T cell populations expressing such skewed TCR/V beta by in vitro stimulation of peripheral blood MNC of the patients with the relevant superantigen enabled the induction of synovial hyperplasia in the SCID mice. These results suggest that the pathogenic T cells could be activated locally in rheumatoid joints by certain antigens in some, but not in all patients with RA.
PMCID: PMC185811  PMID: 7560066

Results 1-7 (7)