Wednesday, 08 Apr 2020

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Steroid-Sparing Effect of Tocilizumab in Refractory Takayasu Arteritis

A controlled clinical trial has shown that giving the IL-6 receptor antibody, tocilizumab (TCZ), to  patients with Takayasu arteritis (TAK) results in clinical efficacy and has a steroid sparing efffect.

A total of 36 TAK patients were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (TAKT - Takayasu arteritis Treated with Tocilizumab). after which they were given open-label, weekly s.c. tocilizumab 162 mg for up to 96 weeks or longer.  Glucocorticoid tapering was performed at the investigators’ discretion.

A total of 28 patients received open-label tocilizumab for 96 weeks.

The median glucocorticoid dose was 0.223 mg/kg/day at study entry; 0.131 mg/kg/day after 48 weeks; and 0.105 mg/kg/day after 96 weeks.

Overall, 46.4% of patients reduced their dose to <0.1 mg/kg/day, which was less than half the dose administered at relapse before study entry

Using imaging studies patients’ disease either was improved (17.9%) or stable (67.9%) after 96 weeks.

No unexpected safety issues were reported.

These results provide evidence of a steroid-sparing effect when TCZ is used in Takayasu arteritis patients.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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