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author:("ovale, sarima")
1.  Improvements in health-related quality of life after treatment with tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis refractory to tumour necrosis factor inhibitors: results from the 24-week randomized controlled RADIATE study 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2012;51(10):1860-1869.
Objective. To investigate the effect of tocilizumab on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in RA patients with inadequate responses to TNF inhibitors (TNFis).
Methods. In a Phase III randomized controlled trial, 489 patients received 4 or 8 mg/kg tocilizumab or placebo every 4 weeks plus MTX for 24 weeks. Mean changes from baseline over time and proportions of patients reporting improvements greater than or equal to minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) in PROs were analyzed.
Results. At week 24, 8 mg/kg resulted in significantly greater improvements vs placebo in pain, global assessment of disease activity (P = 0.001), Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI; P < 0.0001), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (P = 0.0150) and Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form 36 (SF-36 v2) Physical Component Summary (PCS; P = 0.0003) scores, all greater than MCID; 4 mg/kg resulted in greater improvements in pain (P = 0.0100), HAQ-DI (P = 0.0030) and SF-36 PCS (P = 0.0020) scores. Tocilizumab-associated improvements were evident as early as week 2. At week 24, more tocilizumab-treated than control patients reported improvements greater than or equal to MCID in SF-36 domain scores and related PROs (50.9–84.9% vs 35.0–51.7%) and achieved ACR50 responses and/or Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) remission with PRO improvements greater than or equal to MCID (36.2–51.2% vs 10–20.7% and 10.7–37.5% vs 0.0–3.4%, respectively).
Conclusion. Tocilizumab treatment in patients with inadequate responses to TNFis resulted in rapid and sustained improvements in multiple PROs that were statistically significant and clinically meaningful, consistent with previous efficacy reports.
Trial Registration. ClinicalTrials.gov, http://clinicaltrials.gov/, NCT00106522.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kes131
PMCID: PMC3448882  PMID: 22753773
rheumatoid arthritis; tocilizumab; health-related quality of life; patient-reported outcomes; randomized controlled trial
2.  Patterns of biologic agent utilization among patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a retrospective cohort study 
Background
The role of biologic therapies in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has expanded, but dosing patterns in the first versus subsequent lines of therapy have not been thoroughly explored.
Methods
In order to describe patterns of biologic agent utilization among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, health care claims data on use of abatacept, rituximab, or the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab in first- or subsequent-line settings were used to form patient cohorts. Variables included: starting dose (first administration or fill), maintenance dose (third administration or fill), average dose, dose escalation, inter-infusion interval, and discontinuation (gap in therapy > 60 days or switch). Time to discontinuation was assessed with Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models.
Results
Over 1 year, average (SD) doses of first-line etanercept (N = 1593; 45.4 [8.8] mg/week), adalimumab (N = 1040; 40.7 [10.4] mg/2 weeks), and abatacept (N = 360; 715.4 [214.5] mg/4 weeks) were similar to the starting and maintenance doses; the average infliximab dose (N = 538; 441.0 [209.2] mg/8 weeks) was greater than the starting and maintenance doses. Trends in the subsequent-line anti-TNF cohorts were similar. The percentages with a dose escalation or discontinuation were greater in the subsequent-line anti-TNF cohorts. The proportion with a dose escalation was greatest for the infliximab cohorts (61.2% first-line and 80.2% subsequent-line). The average period between abatacept infusions was 4.8 [1.4] weeks (4-week approved schedule); and 6.8 [2.6] months between rituximab courses (currently approved schedule is 6 months). Time to discontinuation was significantly shorter for subsequent-line than first-line anti-TNF therapy (median 9.7 vs. 12.5 mo; p < 0.001). The hazard ratio for discontinuing subsequent-line versus first-line anti-TNF therapy was 1.177 (p < 0.001).
Conclusions
Subsequent-line anti-TNF therapy cohorts had higher rates of discontinuation, dose escalation, and shorter time to discontinuation than first-line anti-TNF cohorts.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-204
PMCID: PMC3184114  PMID: 21929807
3.  Primary Sjögren's Syndrome: health experiences and predictors of health quality among patients in the United States 
Objective
To assess the health related quality of life of patients with primary Sjögren's Syndrome (PSS) in a large US sample.
Methods
Questionnaires were mailed to 547 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of PSS (PhysR-PSS) and all active members of the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation USA (SSF-PSS), half of whom identified a friend without PSS to also complete the survey.
Results
277 PhysR-PSS patients were compared to 606 controls. The mean age was 62 years in the PhysR-PSS group and 61 years in the control group. 90% in both groups were women. Time from first symptom to diagnosis of PSS was a mean of 7 years. Sicca related morbidity, fatigue severity, depression and pain (assessed by validated questionnaires, PROFAD-SSI, FACIT-F, CES-D, BPI) were significantly greater, and all eight SF-36 domains were significantly diminished, in patients compared to controls. Somatic fatigue was the dominant predictor of physical function and of general health. Depression was the dominant predictor of emotional well being. Health care utilization was higher in patients than controls, including out of pocket dental expenses (mean: PhysR-PSS = $1473.3, controls = $503.6), dental visits (mean: PhysR-PSS = 4.0, controls = 2.3), current treatments (mean: PhysR-PSS = 6.6, controls = 2.5), and hospitalizations (53% PhysR-PSS, vs. 40% controls).
Conclusion
Diminished health quality and excess health costs are prevalent among PSS patients. Health experiences and functional impact of PSS is similar among US and European patients. Delayed diagnosis, sicca related morbidity, fatigue, pain and depression are substantial suggesting unmet health needs and the importance of earlier recognition of PSS.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-7-46
PMCID: PMC2693523  PMID: 19473510

Results 1-3 (3)