Half of Early RA Patients Symptom-free Within 36 Weeks
At least 50 percent of recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis patients achieve remission within 36 weeks when following a systematic approach of step-up disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment in combination with tight control, according to results of a study presented at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism. Results of this study indicate that achieving remission is not only possible during clinical trials but can be a realistic goal of standard clinical care.
Of 169 early RA patients, remission was achieved in 15.5 percent at week 8 (23/148), 22.2 percent at week 12 (24/108), 30.7 percent at week 20 (23/75), 38.8 percent at week 24 (33/85), 52.1 percent at week 36 (38/73) and 51 percent at week 48-52 (26/51).
The researchers achieved these results through implementation of a tightly regulated DMARD treatment scheme.
Dr. H. Kuper and Prof M. van de Laar of Medisch Spectrum Twente & University Twente, the Netherlands, who led the study, said; "In many large clinical trials, remission can be considered a realistic goal. We set out to determine whether all patients presenting in daily clinical practice can reasonably expect to achieve a state free of signs and symptoms, if a strict treatment schedule was followed. Our results show that remission is indeed achievable in as many as half of clinical practice patients following this schedule, which could indicate that remission is a realistic treatment goal of daily clinical practice."
This article was adapted from a press release issued by European League Against Rheumatism.