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Repository corticotropin injection as adjunctive therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have failed previous therapies with at least three different modes of action

Authors Gillis T, Crane M, Hinkle C, Wei N

Received 11 January 2017

Accepted for publication 10 April 2017

Published 19 July 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 131—138


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Chuan-Ju Liu

Theresa Gillis, Megan Crane, Carly Hinkle, Nathan Wei

Arthritis Treatment Center, Frederick, MD, USA

Objective: Many types of treatment are available for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however, some patients fail to achieve remission. This report aims to determine the safety and efficacy of using repository corticotropin injection (RCI) as an adjunctive therapy in patients with RA refractory to at least three therapeutics with different mechanisms of action.
Method: In this open-label, interventional, single-group study, patients received 80 U RCI twice weekly via subcutaneous injection over 12 weeks. Changes in the Ritchie–Camp Articular Index and health assessment questionnaire scores were monitored for changes from baseline measures.
Results: Eight patients were enrolled and consisted of seven females and one male with an average age of 64.6 years and disease duration of 20.9 years. Use of RCI resulted in significant improvement in swollen and tender joint counts. The disease activity score 28 and the physician and patient visual analog scale scores were significantly reduced at treatment week 12. The reduction in health assessment questionnaire scores did not reach statistical significance after RCI treatment. Once RCI therapy was discontinued, all improvements in disease activity score 28, physician and patient visual analog scale, and tender and swollen joint counts achieved during treatment were lost by the week 16 follow-up visit.
Conclusion: While larger clinical trials are necessary to further confirm the efficacy of RCI in patients with refractory RA, the response of patients with refractory RA in this study suggests that RCI can be an effective add-on therapy for patients who have exhausted several classes of treatments. Furthermore, this study suggests that RCI has an alternative mode of action, compared to other available antirheumatic drugs.

refractory rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, adrenocorticotropic hormone, repository corticotropin injection

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