Monday, December 5, 2011

Tacrolimus Suppresses Joint Destruction in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Low Disease Activity

Yoshiya Tanaka and colleagues presented a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on tacrolimus, a calcineurin inhibitor, in patients with early-stage RA and a poor response to DMARDs. Tacrolimus was added to the existing therapy with a DMARD. Primary endpoint has been the reduction of the Total Sharp Score if compared with placebo. Addition of tacrolimus to DMARDs significantly suppressed progression of the Total Sharp Score and disease activity as secondary endpoints.
There hasn’t been another study on tacrolimus at this meeting. The study cannot tell anything about the advantage of tacrolimus if compared with cyclosporine A. And there hasn’t been much news on cyclosporine A, either. There has been one study of cyclosporine A in myositis patients. Cyclosporin A is approved in Germany for severe rheumatoid arthritis, costs are 5-10 times higher for tacrolimus.

[SUN] 400
A Calcineurin Inhibitor FK506 Suppresses Joint Destruction in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Low Disease Activity.
Yoshiya Tanaka1, Shinichi Kawai2, Tsutomu Takeuchi3, Kazuhiko Yamamoto4, Shinya Tani5, Toshiyuki Okada5 and Nobuyuki Miyasaka6.
1University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan, 2Toho Uni Sch of Med, Tokyo, Japan, 3Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan, 4Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 5Astellas Pharma Inc., Tokyo, Japan, 6Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
Conclusion: Addition of FK506 to DMARDs significantly suppressed disease activity and joint destruction in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis and low disease activity who had a disease duration_3 years, a CRP_1.5 mg/dL, and a poor response to oral DMARDs.

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