Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries.
Tofacitinib Plus Methotrexate May Work As Well As Biologic
If methotrexate (MTX) alone fails to control RA, adding the oral Janus kinase (JAX) inhibitor tofacitinib (Xeljanz) may be as effective as the standard practice of adding a biologic. The JAX inhibitor belongs to the third category of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) called targeted DMARDs. In a study of 1,146 patients with rheumatoid arthritis that had not adequately responded to MTX alone, approximately a third were switched to tofacitinib, while the others received either tofacitinib or the biologic adalimumab (Humira) along with methotrexate. At 6 months, only 38% of the patients receiving tofacitinib monotherapy achieved ACR50 – 50 percent improvement – while 46% of patients that received tofacitinib and MTX achieved that response. Forty-four percent of patients who combined adalimubab with MTX achieved the similar improved response of the tofacitnib and MTX group.
SOURCE: The Lancet, July 2017 Continue reading RA Research Briefs: Tofacitinib, Fish, Remission
A new study presented recently at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology identifies four factors that may predict which rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients might successfully taper the dose of their biologic medication.
Although biologics are highly effective in controlling RA and its symptoms, patients in some cases prefer not to use them. Past studies have shown that it is possible to taper and even stop the medication in certain patients who are in remission once they have been successfully treated with one of these drugs.
Continue reading Research Identifies Which RA Patients May Successfully Reduce Their Biologics
Researchers set out to answer a pressing question: Is it safe for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who have had cancer in the past to use a biologic drug rather than a traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), like methotrexate, to control their disease? Their answer, detailed in a study recently published online in the journal Rheumatology, is reassuring. They found that patients with a previous malignancy who later took certain biologics did not appear to have an increased risk of cancer after an average of five years, compared to those who took a traditional DMARD.
Continue reading Biologics Appear Safe for Some Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Who’ve Had Cancer
An emerging class of medications called janus kinase inhibitors (JAK inhibitors, or jakinibs) is offering new hope to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who don’t find relief with other treatments.
What are Jakinibs?
Jakinibs are a new class of medication, sometimes called oral biologics. The word “biologic” is misleading, however, because jakinibs work in an entirely different way than the biologics that have been used to date. Jakinibs are small molecules that work inside cells. Traditional biologics such as etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), abatacept (Orencia) and Infliximab (Remicade) block pro-inflammatory cytokines from outside.
Jakinibs are taken by mouth. Traditional biologics are given through infusions or injections.
Continue reading Will Jakinibs Change Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment?