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1.  US Perspectives in the Management of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis: Patient and Physician Results from the Population-Based Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP) Survey 
Background
The Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP), a population-based survey of patients, dermatologists, and rheumatologists, was conducted for better understanding of the unmet needs of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients.
Objective
To report results from US physicians and patients.
Methods
Adults were contacted by household telephone, using random digit dialing, and asked to participate if they had ever been diagnosed with psoriasis or PsA. Physicians were identified through national databases and contacted through random sampling methods.
Results
In the USA, 1005 patients, 101 dermatologists, and 100 rheumatologists were surveyed. PsA had been diagnosed in 270 patients (26.9 %). Of those with psoriasis alone, fewer than 60 % (versus 85.6 % of PsA patients) had seen a healthcare provider within 12 months. Joint pain was reported by 51.8 % of psoriasis patients without a diagnosis of PsA, and 37.6 % of dermatologists cited their greatest challenge in managing PsA patients as being differentiating PsA from other arthritic diseases. Itching was reported by 36 % of psoriasis patients versus 12 % of dermatologists as the most important factor contributing to disease severity. Patients reported lower rates of current treatment than did dermatologists and rheumatologists. Conventional oral and biologic therapies were used by 24.9 and 17.7 % of patients, respectively. Among patients who had received injectable biologics, treatment dissatisfaction was related to long-term safety/tolerability, injection-related anxiety/fear, and cost.
Conclusion
This large, population-based survey identified unmet needs in the management of psoriasis and PsA patients in the USA, including assessment of disease severity, PsA diagnosis, undertreatment, and satisfaction with therapy.
doi:10.1007/s40257-015-0169-x
PMCID: PMC4733141  PMID: 26718712
2.  Comprehensive disease control (CDC): what does achieving CDC mean for patients with rheumatoid arthritis? 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2014;74(12):2165-2174.
Background
This study assessed the impact of simultaneous achievement of clinical, functional and structural efficacy, herein referred to as comprehensive disease control (CDC), on short-term and long-term work-related outcomes, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), pain and fatigue.
Methods
Data were pooled from three randomised trials of adalimumab plus methotrexate for treatment of early-stage or late-stage rheumatoid arthritis (RA). CDC was defined as 28-joint Disease Activity Score using C reactive protein <2.6, Health Assessment Questionnaire <0.5 and change from baseline in modified Total Sharp Score ≤0.5. Changes in scores at weeks 26 and 52 for work-related outcomes, Short Form 36 (SF-36) physical (PCS) and mental component scores (MCS), a Visual Analogue Scale measuring pain (VAS-Pain) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) were compared between patient groups defined by achievement of CDC at week 26 using linear regression with adjustment for baseline scores.
Results
Patients with RA who achieved CDC at week 26 (n=200) had significantly greater improvements in VAS-Pain (46.9 vs 26.9; p<0.0001), FACIT-F (13.3 vs 7.5; p<0.0001), SF-36 PCS (19.7 vs 8.9; p<0.0001) and SF-36 MCS (8.1 vs 5.0; p=0.0004) than those who did not (n=1267). Results were consistent at week 52 and among methotrexate-naive patients with early RA, methotrexate-experienced patients with late-stage RA and patients with inadequate response to methotrexate.
Conclusions
Patients with RA who achieved CDC at week 26 had improved short-term and long-term HRQoL, pain, fatigue and work-related outcomes compared with patients who do not. These results demonstrate that the joint achievement of all CDC components provides meaningful benefits to patients.
Trial registration numbers
DE019: NCT00195702, PREMIER: NCT00195702, OPTIMA: NCT00195702.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205302
PMCID: PMC4680119  PMID: 25139667
Rheumatoid Arthritis; Inflammation; Patient perspective
3.  A 25-Year-Old Man with Exudative Retinal Detachments and Infiltrates without Hematological or Neurological Findings Found to Have Relapsed Precursor T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
Case Reports in Ophthalmology  2015;6(3):321-327.
Background
Precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-T-ALL) may cause ocular pathologies such as cotton-wool spots, retinal hemorrhage, and less commonly, retinal detachment or leukemic infiltration of the retina itself. However, these findings are typically accompanied by the pathognomonic hematological signs of acute leukemia.
Case Presentation
In this case report and review of the literature, we describe a particularly unusual case of a 25-year-old man who presented to our hospital with bilateral exudative retinal detachments associated with posterior pole thickening without any hematological or neurological findings. The patient, who had a history of previously treated pre-T-ALL in complete remission, was found to have leukemia cell infiltration on retinal biopsy.
Conclusion
Our case underscores the fact that the ophthalmologist may be the first provider to detect the relapse of previously treated leukemia, and that ophthalmic evaluation is critical for detecting malignant ocular infiltrates.
doi:10.1159/000439375
PMCID: PMC4608654  PMID: 26483676
Leukemia; Retinal detachment; Ophthalmology
4.  Certolizumab pegol plus methotrexate 5-year results from the rheumatoid arthritis prevention of structural damage (RAPID) 2 randomized controlled trial and long-term extension in rheumatoid arthritis patients 
Introduction
As patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receive treatment with anti-tumour necrosis factors over several years, it is important to evaluate their long-term safety and efficacy. The objective of this study was to examine the safety and benefits of certolizumab pegol (CZP)+methotrexate (MTX) treatment for almost 5 years in patients with RA.
Methods
Patients who completed the 24-week Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention of Structural Damage (RAPID) 2 randomized controlled trial (RCT; NCT00160602), or who were American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 non-responders at Week 16, entered the open-label extension (OLE; NCT00160641). After ≥6 months treatment with CZP 400 mg every two weeks (Q2W), dose was reduced to 200 mg Q2W, the approved maintenance dose. Safety data are presented from all patients who received ≥1 dose CZP (Safety population, n=612). Efficacy data are presented to Week 232 for the intent-to-treat (ITT, n=492) and Week 24 CZP RCT Completer (n=342) populations, and through 192 weeks of dose-reduction for the Dose-reduction population (patients whose CZP dose was reduced to 200 mg, n=369). Radiographic progression (modified total Sharp score change from RCT baseline >0.5) to Week 128 is reported for the Week 24 CZP Completers.
Results
In the RCT, 619 patients were randomized to CZP+MTX (n=492) or placebo+MTX (n=127). Overall, 567 patients (91.6%) entered the OLE: 447 CZP and 120 placebo patients. Of all randomized patients, 358 (57.8%) were ongoing at Week 232. Annual drop-out rates during the first four years ranged from 8.4–15.0%. Event rates per 100 patient-years were 163.0 for adverse events (AEs) and 15.7 for serious AEs. Nineteen patients (3.1%) had fatal AEs (incidence rate=0.8). Clinical improvements in the RCT were maintained to Week 232 in the CZP Completers: mean Disease Activity Score 28 (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) change from baseline was −3.4 and ACR20/50/70 responses 68.4%/47.1%/25.1% (non-responder imputation). Similar improvements observed in the ITT were maintained following dose-reduction. 73.2% of CZP Completers had no radiographic progression at Week 128.
Conclusions
In patients with active RA despite MTX therapy, CZP was well tolerated, with no new safety signals identified. CZP provided sustained improvements in clinical outcomes for almost 5 years.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00160602 and NCT00160641. Registered 8 September 2005.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0767-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0767-2
PMCID: PMC4565002  PMID: 26353833
6.  Psoriatic arthritis: latest treatments and their place in therapy 
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a heterogeneous chronic inflammatory disease that may affect peripheral and axial joints, entheses, skin and nails, and other organs. Treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs had been the backbone of traditional management of PsA for many years. However, improvement in our understanding of immunopathogenesis of PsA has led to new immunomodulatory therapies. Introduction of novel agents has raised the bar for treatment and helped drive research into additional therapeutic options.
doi:10.1177/2040622315582354
PMCID: PMC4480547  PMID: 26137209
disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; immunomodulatory therapies; psoriatic arthritis
7.  A Comparison of Disease Burden in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis and Axial Spondyloarthritis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123582.
Objective
The main objective of this study was to compare disease burden in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and axial spondyloarthritis (ax-SpA).
Methods
In this cross-sectional study, all the RA (1093), PsA (365) and ax-SpA (333) patients who visited the out-patient clinic of the Hospital of Southern Norway Trust during the year 2013 were included; the RA patients all had a RA diagnosis verified by the treating rheumatologist, the PsA patients all fulfilled the ClASsification for Psoriatic ARthritis (CASPAR) criteria and the ax-SpA patients all fulfilled the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) classification criteria for ax-SpA. Patient-reported health status, demographic variables, medications, and composite scores of disease activity were assessed. The main analyses were performed using General Linear Models adjusted for age, sex and multiple comparisons. Correlation analyses were performed using Spearman’s rho.
Results
The reported pain, joint pain, patient’s global assessment and fatigue were similar in PsA and ax-SpA, but significantly lower in RA. The 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28) (0.3±0.1, p = 0.003), Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) (1.0±0.4, p = 0.028) and Routine Assessment of Patient Index Data 3 (RAPID3) (0.4±0.1, p = 0.004) were all significantly higher in PsA vs. RA. RAPID3 showed moderate to high correlation with DAS28 (rho = 0.521, p<0.001) and CDAI (rho = 0.768, p<0.001) in RA and PsA, and with Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) (rho = 0.902, p<0.001) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) (0.865, p<0.001) in ax-SpA and PsA.
Conclusion
In conclusion, patient- reported outcome measures were similar in our population of PsA and ax-SpA patients, but significantly lower for the RA patients. Composite disease activity measures were lower in RA than in PsA and ax-SpA, but the magnitude of these differences was small and probably not of clinical significance. Our study indicates that disease burden in RA, PsA and ax-SpA may be more similar than previously demonstrated.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123582
PMCID: PMC4390320  PMID: 25853482
8.  Golimumab 3-year safety update: an analysis of pooled data from the long-term extensions of randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials conducted in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2013;74(3):538-546.
Objective
To assess pooled golimumab safety up to year 3 of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) trials.
Methods
Golimumab 50 and 100 mg, administered subcutaneously (SC) every 4 weeks (q4wk), were assessed in patients with active RA (methotrexate-naïve, methotrexate-experienced and anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor)-experienced), PsA or AS, despite conventional therapy. Placebo control continued up to week (wk) 24 (wk 52, methotrexate-naïve), with early escape at wk 16 (wk 28, methotrexate-naïve); subsequently, all patients received golimumab 50 or 100 mg q4wk. After the blinded controlled period, golimumab doses could be adjusted per investigator discretion. Pooled safety analyses reported herein include data from placebo-controlled and uncontrolled study periods up to wk 160. Determinations of incidences/100 patient-years (pt-yrs) for rare events also included RA patients from a phase IIb trial.
Results
Across five phase III trials of SC golimumab, 639 patients received placebo and 2226 received golimumab 50 mg (n=1249) and/or 100 mg (n=1501) up to wk 160 (patients may be included in more than one group because non-responders were allowed early escape); 1179 patients were treated for ≥156 weeks. For placebo, golimumab 50 mg and golimumab 100 mg, respective adverse event incidences/100 pt-yrs (95% CIs) up to wk 160 were: 0.28 (0.01 to 1.56), 0.30 (0.12 to 0.62), 0.41 (0.23 to 0.69) for death; 5.31 (3.20 to 8.30), 3.03 (2.36 to 3.82), 5.09 (4.36 to 5.90) for serious infection; 0.00 (0.00 to 0.84), 0.17 (0.05 to 0.44), 0.35 (0.18 to 0.62) for tuberculosis; 0.00 (0.00 to 0.84), 0.13 (0.03 to 0.38), 0.24 (0.10 to 0.46) for opportunistic infection; 0.00 (0.00 to 0.84), 0.00 (0.00 to 0.13), 0.12 (0.03 to 0.30) for demyelination; and 0.00 (0.00 to 0.84), 0.04 (0.00 to 0.24), 0.18 (0.06 to 0.38) for lymphoma.
Conclusions
SC golimumab safety up to 3 years remained consistent with that of other TNF antagonists. Golimumab 100 mg showed numerically higher incidences of serious infections, demyelinating events and lymphoma than 50 mg; safety follow-up up to year 5 continues.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204195
PMCID: PMC4345908  PMID: 24344160
9.  The effect of golimumab on haemoglobin levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2013;52(10):1845-1855.
Objective. To evaluate the effect of golimumab on haemoglobin levels in patients with RA, PsA or AS.
Methods. Secondary analysis was performed on integrated data from five randomized controlled studies: three RA, one PsA and one AS (2303 patients total). Golimumab 50 or 100 mg was injected s.c. every 4 weeks with or without MTX. Control groups received placebo injections plus MTX or background therapy. Patients with haemoglobin levels below the age- and sex-specific normal ranges were considered to have anaemia. Ferritin levels were used to distinguish anaemia of mixed aetiology (≥15 and <60 ng/ml) and anaemia of inflammation (≥60 ng/ml). Changes from baseline to weeks 14 and 24 in haemoglobin level were compared between treatment groups using an analysis of variance on the van der Waerden normal scores.
Results. At baseline, 21% of RA patients, 9% of PsA patients and 15% of AS patients had anaemia. Of these, 24%, 57% and 25%, respectively, had anaemia of inflammation. The median increase from baseline to week 14 in the haemoglobin level of anaemic patients was 0.3 g/dl in the control group and 0.9 g/dl in the golimumab group (P < 0.001). Haemoglobin levels improved within the subgroups of patients with anaemia of mixed aetiology (control, 0.4 g/dl vs golimumab, 0.7 g/dl) (P = 0.305) and with anaemia of inflammation (0.2 vs 1.4 g/dl, respectively) (P < 0.001).
Conclusion. Compared with the control group, patients receiving golimumab treatment had significantly improved haemoglobin levels, particularly among patients with anaemia of inflammation.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket233
PMCID: PMC3775295  PMID: 23838027
rheumatoid arthritis; anaemia; anti-TNF-α agent; golimumab; psoriatic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis
11.  Ustekinumab, an anti-IL-12/23 p40 monoclonal antibody, inhibits radiographic progression in patients with active psoriatic arthritis: results of an integrated analysis of radiographic data from the phase 3, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled PSUMMIT-1 and PSUMMIT-2 trials 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2014;73(6):1000-1006.
Objective
Evaluate ustekinumab, an anti-interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 antibody, effects on radiographic progression in psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Methods
We conducted preplanned integrated analyses of combined radiographic data from PSUMMIT-1 and PSUMMIT-2 phase 3, randomised, controlled trials. Patients had active PsA despite prior conventional and/or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (≥5/66 swollen, ≥5/68 tender joints, C-reactive protein ≥3.0 mg/L, documented plaque psoriasis). Patients (PSUMMIT-1, n=615; PSUMMIT-2, n=312) were randomised to ustekinumab 45 mg, 90 mg, or placebo, at weeks (wk) 0, 4 and every (q) 12 wks. At wk 16, patients with <5% improvement in tender/swollen joint counts entered blinded early escape. All other placebo patients received ustekinumab 45 mg at wk 24 and wk 28, then q 12 wks. Radiographs of hands/feet at wks 0/24/52 were assessed using PsA-modified van der Heijde-Sharp (vdH-S) scores; combined PSUMMIT-1 and PSUMMIT-2 changes in total vdH-S scores from wk 0 to wk 24 comprised the prespecified primary radiographic analysis. Treatment effects were assessed using analysis of variance on van der Waerden normal scores (factors=treatment, baseline methotrexate usage, and study).
Results
Integrated data analysis results indicated that ustekinumab-treated patients (regardless of dose) demonstrated significantly less radiographic progression at wk 24 than did placebo recipients (wk 0–24 total vdH-S score mean changes: 0.4-combined/individual ustekinumab dose groups, 1.0-placebo; all p<0.02). From wk 24 to wk 52, inhibition of radiographic progression was maintained for ustekinumab-treated patients, and progression was substantially reduced among initial placebo recipients who started ustekinumab at wk 16 or wk 24 (wk 24 – wk 52, total vdH-S score mean change: 0.08).
Conclusions
Ustekinumab 45 and 90 mg treatments significantly inhibited radiographic progression of joint damage in patients with active PsA.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204741
PMCID: PMC4033146  PMID: 24553909
Spondyloarthritis; Anti-TNF; Psoriatic Arthritis
12.  Synovial phenotypes in rheumatoid arthritis correlate with response to biologic therapeutics 
Introduction
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex and clinically heterogeneous autoimmune disease. Currently, the relationship between pathogenic molecular drivers of disease in RA and therapeutic response is poorly understood.
Methods
We analyzed synovial tissue samples from two RA cohorts of 49 and 20 patients using a combination of global gene expression, histologic and cellular analyses, and analysis of gene expression data from two further publicly available RA cohorts. To identify candidate serum biomarkers that correspond to differential synovial biology and clinical response to targeted therapies, we performed pre-treatment biomarker analysis compared with therapeutic outcome at week 24 in serum samples from 198 patients from the ADACTA (ADalimumab ACTemrA) phase 4 trial of tocilizumab (anti-IL-6R) monotherapy versus adalimumab (anti-TNFα) monotherapy.
Results
We documented evidence for four major phenotypes of RA synovium – lymphoid, myeloid, low inflammatory, and fibroid - each with distinct underlying gene expression signatures. We observed that baseline synovial myeloid, but not lymphoid, gene signature expression was higher in patients with good compared with poor European league against rheumatism (EULAR) clinical response to anti-TNFα therapy at week 16 (P =0.011). We observed that high baseline serum soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM1), associated with the myeloid phenotype, and high serum C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13), associated with the lymphoid phenotype, had differential relationships with clinical response to anti-TNFα compared with anti-IL6R treatment. sICAM1-high/CXCL13-low patients showed the highest week 24 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 50 response rate to anti-TNFα treatment as compared with sICAM1-low/CXCL13-high patients (42% versus 13%, respectively, P =0.05) while anti-IL-6R patients showed the opposite relationship with these biomarker subgroups (ACR50 20% versus 69%, P =0.004).
Conclusions
These data demonstrate that underlying molecular and cellular heterogeneity in RA impacts clinical outcome to therapies targeting different biological pathways, with patients with the myeloid phenotype exhibiting the most robust response to anti-TNFα. These data suggest a path to identify and validate serum biomarkers that predict response to targeted therapies in rheumatoid arthritis and possibly other autoimmune diseases.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01119859
doi:10.1186/ar4555
PMCID: PMC4060385  PMID: 25167216
13.  Benefits and risks of low-dose glucocorticoid treatment in the patient with rheumatoid arthritis 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2014;53(10):1742-1751.
Glucocorticosteroids (GCs) have been employed extensively for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune and systemic inflammatory disorders. Their use is supported by extensive literature and their utility is reflected in their incorporation into current treatment guidelines for RA and other conditions. Nevertheless, there is still some concern regarding the long-term use of GCs because of their potential for clinically important adverse events, particularly with an extended duration of treatment and the use of high doses. This article systematically reviews the efficacy for radiological and clinical outcomes for low-dose GCs (defined as ≤10 mg/day prednisone equivalent) in the treatment of RA. Results reviewed indicated that low-dose GCs, usually administered in combination with synthetic DMARDs, most often MTX, significantly improve structural outcomes and decrease symptom severity in patients with RA. Safety data indicate that GC-associated adverse events are dose related, but still occur in patients receiving low doses of these agents. Concerns about side effects associated with GCs have prompted the development of new strategies aimed at improving safety without compromising efficacy. These include altering the structure of existing GCs and the development of delayed-release GC formulations so that drug delivery is timed to match greatest symptom severity. Optimal use of low-dose GCs has the potential to improve long-term outcomes for patients with RA.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keu135
PMCID: PMC4165844  PMID: 24729402
rheumatoid arthritis; glucocorticoids; prednisone; disease modifying; treatment strategies; benefit–risk
14.  Pegloticase immunogenicity: the relationship between efficacy and antibody development in patients treated for refractory chronic gout 
Introduction
The efficacy of pegloticase, a polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated mammalian recombinant uricase, approved for chronic refractory gout, can be limited by the development of antibodies (Ab). Analyses from 2 replicate, 6-month, randomized controlled trials were performed to characterize Ab responses to pegloticase.
Methods
Anti-pegloticase, anti-PEG, and anti-uricase Ab were determined by validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Ab titers were analyzed for possible relationships with serum pegloticase concentrations, serum uric acid (sUA) lowering, and risk of infusion reactions (IRs).
Results
Sixty-nine (41%) of 169 patients receiving pegloticase developed high titer anti-pegloticase Ab (> 1:2430) and 40% (67/169) developed anti-PEG Ab; 1 patient receiving placebo developed high titer anti-pegloticase Ab. Only 14% (24/169) of patients developed anti-uricase Ab, usually at low titer. In responders, patients showing sustained UA lowering, mean anti-pegloticase titers at week 25 (1:837 ± 1687 with biweekly and 1:2025 ± 4506 with monthly dosing) were markedly lower than in nonresponders (1:34,528 ± 42,228 and 1:89,658 ± 297,797, respectively). Nonresponder status was associated with reduced serum pegloticase concentrations. Baseline anti-pegloticase Ab, evident in 15% (31/212) of patients, did not predict subsequent loss of urate-lowering response. Loss of sUA response preceded IRs in 44 of 56 (79%) pegloticase-treated patients.
Conclusions
Loss of responsiveness to pegloticase is associated with the development of high titer anti-pegloticase Ab that increase clearance of pegloticase and are associated with a loss of the sUA lowering effect and increased IR risk. Pre-infusion sUA can be used as a surrogate for the presence of deleterious anti-pegloticase Ab.
Trial registration
NCT00325195. Registered 10 May 2006, NCT01356498. Registered 27 October 2008.
doi:10.1186/ar4497
PMCID: PMC4060440  PMID: 24588936
16.  A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Recombinant Human Relaxin in the Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis with Diffuse Scleroderma 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(4):1102-1111.
Background/Purpose
A phase II randomized controlled trial of recombinant human relaxin suggested that 25 ug/kg/day was safe and clinically effective in improving skin disease and functional disability in scleroderma. We report the results of a large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing placebo with recombinant human relaxin, 10 ug/kg of body weight per day and 25 ug/kg per day, given for 24 weeks in patients with stable, diffuse, moderate to severe scleroderma (SSc).
Methods
Men and women 18 to 70 years of age with diffuse SSc, disease duration ≤ 5 years since the onset of the first non-Raynaud sign or symptom, a baseline modified Rodnan skin score (MRSS) of 20 or greater, or at least 16 if truncal involvement was present. Recombinant human relaxin (10 or 25 ug/kg/day), or placebo was administered for 24 weeks as a continuous subcutaneous infusion and there was a follow-up safety visit at week 28.
Results
The primary outcome measure, the MRSS, was similar between the 3 groups at baseline and at weeks 4, 12, and 24 (P=NS). Secondary outcomes such as functional disability were similar in all 3 groups and the forced vital capacity significantly decreased in the relaxin groups (p< 0.04). The discontinuation of relaxin (both doses) at week 24 led to statistically significant declines in creatinine clearance and serious renal adverse events (defined as either doubling of baseline serum creatinine, renal crisis, or grade 3 or 4 hypertension) in 7 patients who had received relaxin therapy but in none who had received placebo (p=0.04).
Conclusion
Recombinant relaxin was not significantly better than placebo in improving total skin score, pulmonary function, or functional disability in patients with diffuse SSc. In addition, relaxin was associated with serious renal adverse events, the majority of which occurred after stopping the infusion. If relaxin is used therapeutically for any conditions other than scleroderma, close monitoring of blood pressure and renal function must be performed.
doi:10.1002/art.24380
PMCID: PMC3711466  PMID: 19333948
17.  Predicting low disease activity and remission using early treatment response to anti-TNF therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Exploratory analyses from the TEMPO trial 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2011;71(2):206-212.
Objective
To derive and validate decision trees to categorize rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients 12 weeks after starting etanercept with or without methotrexate into three groups: patients predicted to achieve low disease activity (LDA) at 1 year; patients predicted to not achieve LDA at 1 year; and patients who needed additional time on therapy to be categorized.
Methods
Data from RA patients enrolled in TEMPO were analyzed. Classification and Regression Trees were used to develop and validate decision-tree models with week 12 and earlier assessments that predicted long-term LDA. LDA, defined as DAS28 ≤ 3.2 or Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) ≤ 10.0, was measured at 52 or 48 weeks. Demographics, laboratory data, and clinical data at baseline and through week 12 were analyzed as predictors of response.
Results
Thirty-nine percent (67/172) of patients receiving etanercept and 60% (115/193) of patients receiving etanercept plus methotrexate achieved LDA at week 52. For patients receiving etanercept, 53% were predicted to have LDA, 39% were predicted to not have LDA, and 8% could not be categorized using DAS28 criteria at week 12. For patients receiving etanercept plus methotrexate, 63% were predicted to have LDA, 25% were predicted to not have LDA, and 12% could not be categorized.
Conclusion
Most (80%–90%) patients in TEMPO initiating etanercept with or without methotrexate could be predicted within 12 weeks of starting therapy as likely to have LDA or not at week 52. However, approximately 10%–20% of patients needed additional time on therapy to decide whether to continue treatment.
doi:10.1136/ard.2011.153551
PMCID: PMC3698970  PMID: 21998118
etanercept; methotrexate; arthritis; rheumatoid; decision tree; prediction
18.  Predicting Future Response to Certolizumab Pegol in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Features at 12 Weeks Associated With Low Disease Activity at 1 Year 
Arthritis care & research  2012;64(5):658-667.
Objectives
To determine the prognostic significance of data collected early after starting certolizumab pegol (CZP) to predict low disease activity (LDA) at Week 52.
Methods
Data through Week 12 from 703 CZP-treated patients in the RA PreventIon of structural Damage (RAPID 1) trial were used as variables to predict LDA (DAS28 [ESR] ≤3.2) at Week 52. We identified variables, developed prediction models using classification trees, and tested performance using training and testing datasets. Additional prediction models were constructed using CDAI and an alternate outcome definition (composite of LDA or ACR50).
Results
Using Week 6 and 12 data and across several different prediction models, response (LDA) and nonresponse at 1 year was predicted with relatively high accuracy (70–90%) for most patients. The best performing model predicting nonresponse by 12 weeks was 90% accurate and applied to 46% of the population. Model accuracy for predicted responders (30% of the RAPID1 population) was 74%. The area under the receiver operator curve was 0.76. Depending on the desired certainty of prediction at 12 weeks, ~12–24% of patients required >12 weeks of treatment to be accurately classified. CDAI-based models, and those evaluating the composite outcome (LDA or ACR50), achieved comparable accuracy.
Conclusion
We could accurately predict within 12 weeks of starting CZP whether most established RA patients with high baseline disease activity would likely achieve/not achieve LDA at 1 year. Decision trees may be useful to guide prospective management for RA patients treated with CZP and other biologics.
doi:10.1002/acr.21600
PMCID: PMC3330194  PMID: 22231904
19.  Biologic Modulators in Allergic and Autoinflammatory Diseases 
Purpose of review
The advent of molecular techniques has resulted in the ability to tailor medications to specific protein targets. This review will emphasize several biological therapies, specifically directed toward cytokine receptors and inhibitors, and their role in the treatment of atopic and autoinflammatory diseases.
Recent findings
Translational research and the identification of the molecular pathophysiology of diseases have led to more targeted treatment approaches. The biologic modulators, encompassing monoclonal antibodies as cytokine inhibitors, receptor blocking antibodies and new fusion receptors are now being applied to diseases beyond their original application.
Summary
The expanded use of biological therapies has experienced success in the treatment of numerous disorders, especially in subsets of patients with disease that has been refractory to conventional therapies.
doi:10.1097/ACI.0b013e328348a882
PMCID: PMC3154953  PMID: 21659854
monoclonal antibodies; biologics; autoinflammatory; allergy
20.  Minimally important differences of the gout impact scale in a randomized controlled trial 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2011;50(7):1331-1336.
Objective. The Gout Impact Scale (GIS) is a gout-specific quality of life instrument that assesses impact of gout during an attack and impact of overall gout. The GIS has five scales and each is scored from 0 to 100 (worse health). Our objective was to assess minimally important differences (MIDs) for the GIS administered in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) assessing rilonacept vs placebo for prevention of gout flares during initiation of allopurinol therapy.
Methods. Trial subjects ( n = 83) included those with two or more gout flares (self-reported) in the past year. Of these, 73 had data for Weeks 8 vs 4 and formed the MID analysis group and were analysed irrespective of the treatment assignment. Subjects completed the GIS and seven patient-reported anchors. Subjects with a one-step change (e.g. from very poor to poor) were considered as the MID group for each anchor. The mean change in GIS scores and effect size (ES) was calculated for each anchor’s MID group. The average of these created the overall summary MID statistics for each GIS. An ES of 0.2–0.5 was considered to represent MID estimates.
Results. Trial subjects (n = 73) were males (96.0%), White (90.4%), with mean age of 50.5 years and serum uric acid of 9.0 mg/dl. The mean change score for the MID improvement group for scales ranged from −5.24 to −7.61 (0–100 scale). The ES for the MID improvement group for the four scales ranged from 0.22 to 0.38.
Conclusion. The MID estimates for GIS scales are between 5 and 8 points (0–100 scale). This information can aid in interpreting the GIS results in future gout RCTs.
Trial Registration. Clinicaltrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00610363.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ker023
PMCID: PMC3307519  PMID: 21372003
Gout assessment questionnaire; Gout impact scale; Minimally important difference; Minimal clinically important differences; Rilonacept; Clinical trial design; Health-related quality of life; Health status
21.  A Delphi Consensus Approach to Challenging Case Scenarios in Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis: Part 2 
Introduction
Clinicians may be confronted with difficult-to-treat psoriasis cases for which there are scant data to rely upon for guidance. To assist in managing such patients, who are typically excluded from clinical trials, a consensus panel of 14 experts in the field of psoriasis was formed to conduct a Delphi method exercise.
Methods
The exercise consisted of both survey questionnaires and a live meeting to review and discuss current data (as of 2009, when the exercise was conducted) and arrive at a consensus for optimal treatment options. Seventy difficult treatment scenarios were identified, and the top 24 were selected for discussion at the live meeting.
Results
Five of the 24 discussed case scenarios are presented in this article: (1) moderate-to-severe psoriasis that has failed to respond to all currently approved therapies for psoriasis; (2) palmoplantar psoriasis that is unresponsive to topical therapy and phototherapy; (3) erythrodermic psoriasis; (4) pustular psoriasis; and (5) the preferred therapeutic choice to combine with low-dose methotrexate. A previous article (part 1) presented six other scenarios.
Conclusion
The Delphi exercise resulted in guidelines for practicing physicians to utilize when confronted with patients with challenging cases of psoriasis.
doi:10.1007/s13555-012-0002-x
PMCID: PMC3510406  PMID: 23205325
Acitretin; Biologics; Erythrodermic psoriasis; Palmoplantar psoriasis; Psoriasis; Pustular psoriasis; Methotrexate; TNF-α inhibitor
22.  A Delphi Consensus Approach to Challenging Case Scenarios in Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis: Part 2 
Dermatology and Therapy  2012;2(1):2.
Introduction
Clinicians may be confronted with difficult-to-treat psoriasis cases for which there are scant data to rely upon for guidance. To assist in managing such patients, who are typically excluded from clinical trials, a consensus panel of 14 experts in the field of psoriasis was formed to conduct a Delphi method exercise.
Methods
The exercise consisted of both survey questionnaires and a live meeting to review and discuss current data (as of 2009, when the exercise was conducted) and arrive at a consensus for optimal treatment options. Seventy difficult treatment scenarios were identified, and the top 24 were selected for discussion at the live meeting.
Results
Five of the 24 discussed case scenarios are presented in this article: (1) moderate-to-severe psoriasis that has failed to respond to all currently approved therapies for psoriasis; (2) palmoplantar psoriasis that is unresponsive to topical therapy and phototherapy; (3) erythrodermic psoriasis; (4) pustular psoriasis; and (5) the preferred therapeutic choice to combine with low-dose methotrexate. A previous article (part 1) presented six other scenarios.
Conclusion
The Delphi exercise resulted in guidelines for practicing physicians to utilize when confronted with patients with challenging cases of psoriasis.
doi:10.1007/s13555-012-0002-x
PMCID: PMC3510406  PMID: 23205325
Acitretin; Biologics; Erythrodermic psoriasis; Palmoplantar psoriasis; Psoriasis; Pustular psoriasis; Methotrexate; TNF-α inhibitor
23.  A Delphi Consensus Approach to Challenging Case Scenarios in Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis: Part 1 
Introduction
Traditional clinical trials in psoriasis exclude a significant proportion of patients with complex disease and comorbidities. A consensus panel of 14 experts in the field of psoriasis was formed to conduct a Delphi method exercise to identify difficult-to-treat psoriasis clinical scenarios and to rank treatment approaches.
Methods
The exercise consisted of both survey questionnaires and a live meeting to review and discuss current data (as of 2009, when the exercise was conducted) and arrive at a consensus for optimal treatment options. Seventy difficult treatment scenarios were identified, and the top 24 were selected for discussion at the live meeting.
Results
Six of the 24 discussed case scenarios are presented in this article (another five are presented in Part 2): (1) psoriasis with human papilloma virus-induced cervical or anogenital dysplasia; (2) concomitant psoriasis and systemic lupus erythematosus; (3) severe psoriatic nail disease causing functional or emotional impairment; (4) psoriasis therapies that potentially reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; (5) older patients (≥65 years of age) with psoriasis; and (6) severe scalp psoriasis that is unresponsive to topical therapy.
Conclusion
The Delphi exercise resulted in guidelines for practicing physicians to utilize when confronted with challenging patients with psoriasis.
doi:10.1007/s13555-012-0001-y
PMCID: PMC3510391  PMID: 23205324
Acitretin; Biologics; Methotrexate; Psoriasis; Psoriatic nail disease; Severe scalp psoriasis; TNF-α inhibitor
24.  A Delphi Consensus Approach to Challenging Case Scenarios in Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis: Part 1 
Dermatology and Therapy  2012;2(1):1.
Introduction
Traditional clinical trials in psoriasis exclude a significant proportion of patients with complex disease and comorbidities. A consensus panel of 14 experts in the field of psoriasis was formed to conduct a Delphi method exercise to identify difficult-to-treat psoriasis clinical scenarios and to rank treatment approaches.
Methods
The exercise consisted of both survey questionnaires and a live meeting to review and discuss current data (as of 2009, when the exercise was conducted) and arrive at a consensus for optimal treatment options. Seventy difficult treatment scenarios were identified, and the top 24 were selected for discussion at the live meeting.
Results
Six of the 24 discussed case scenarios are presented in this article (another five are presented in Part 2): (1) psoriasis with human papilloma virus-induced cervical or anogenital dysplasia; (2) concomitant psoriasis and systemic lupus erythematosus; (3) severe psoriatic nail disease causing functional or emotional impairment; (4) psoriasis therapies that potentially reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; (5) older patients (≥65 years of age) with psoriasis; and (6) severe scalp psoriasis that is unresponsive to topical therapy.
Conclusion
The Delphi exercise resulted in guidelines for practicing physicians to utilize when confronted with challenging patients with psoriasis.
doi:10.1007/s13555-012-0001-y
PMCID: PMC3510391  PMID: 23205324
Acitretin; Biologics; Methotrexate; Psoriasis; Psoriatic nail disease; Severe scalp psoriasis; TNF-α inhibitor
25.  The 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(9):2582-2591.
Objective
The American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism have developed new classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of Phase 2 of the development process was to achieve expert consensus on the clinical and laboratory variables that should contribute to the final criteria set.
Methods
Twenty-four expert RA clinicians (12 from Europe and 12 from North America) participated in Phase 2. A consensus-based decision analysis approach was used to identify factors (and their relative weights) that influence the probability of “developing RA,” complemented by data from the Phase 1 study. Patient case scenarios were used to identify and reach consensus on factors important in determining the probability of RA development. Decision analytic software was used to derive the relative weights for each of the factors and their categories, using choice-based conjoint analysis.
Results
The expert panel agreed that the new classification criteria should be applied to individuals with undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis in whom at least 1 joint is deemed by an expert assessor to be swollen, indicating definite synovitis. In this clinical setting, they identified 4 additional criteria as being important: number of joints involved and site of involvement, serologic abnormality, acute-phase response, and duration of symptoms in the involved joints. These criteria were consistent with those identified in the Phase 1 data-driven approach.
Conclusion
The consensus-based, decision analysis approach used in Phase 2 complemented the Phase 1 efforts. The 4 criteria and their relative weights form the basis of the final criteria set.
doi:10.1002/art.27580
PMCID: PMC3077961  PMID: 20872596

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