Tofacitinib Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Direct Comparison Study between Biologic-naïve and Experienced Patients.
Tofacitinib Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Direct Comparison Study between Biologic-naïve and Experienced Patients
Objective: This study was designed to directly compare the outcomes of tofacitinib therapy for methotrexate-refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) between biologic-naïve patients and patients who had experienced an inadequate response to biological agents.
Methods: We prospectively enrolled and followed 113 patients who had a high or moderate clinical disease activity index (CDAI) (36 biologic-naïve patients and 77 biologic-experienced patients). Patients received 5 mg of tofacitinib twice daily. Effectiveness and adverse events were examined at month 6 of treatment.
Results: At month 6, 65 patients (57.5%) reached CDAI50, which is defined as achieving ≥50% improvement. The number of previous biological agents was twice as high in CDAI50 non-responders as in responders (2.2 versus 1.1, p<0.001), but there was no significant difference in the type of previous agents or the reason for discontinuation. According to a multivariate logistic regression analysis, the previous use of biological agents (odds ratio [OR] 4.48, p=0.002) and the concurrent use of prednisolone (OR 2.40, p=0.047) were associated with a failure to achieve a CDAI 50 response. Biologic-naïve patients were more likely to achieve CDAI50 than biologic-experienced patients (80.6% versus 46.8%, p=0.001). Mean CDAI values were higher in biologic-experienced patients (11.4 versus 4.8, p=0.001), and remission rates were higher in biologic-naïve patients (41.7% versus 11.7%, p=0.001). Biologic-naïve patients more rapidly achieved remission. Rates of discontinuation resulting from adverse events were similar in both groups.
Conclusion: Although tofacitinib can provide an effective treatment option for intractable RA patients, its impact on outcomes is lower in patients with previous biologic failure.