Objective: To assess the effects prospectively of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) fusion proteins TNFRSF1B (etanercept) and TNFRSF1A (p55TNFr-Ig) in patients with TNF receptor associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS).
Methods: Seven patients with a clinical and genetic diagnosis of TRAPS received subcutaneous etanercept for 24 weeks. One of these patients had previously received an intravenous infusion of p55TNFr-Ig. Therapeutic response was assessed by comparing corticosteroid requirement, acute-phase response and an established scoring system over 20 weeks, both on and off etanercept.
Results: Etanercept was well tolerated. The five corticosteroid-responsive patients required significantly less corticosteroids and demonstrated reductions in acute-phase reactants on etanercept. The two patients not requiring corticosteroids had small reductions in disease activity scores. The effect of p55TNFr-Ig in a single patient with TRAPS remains unclear.
Conclusions: Etanercept does not abolish inflammatory attacks but improves disease activity allowing corticosteroid reduction. Etanercept may be clinically useful in replacing or reducing steroid requirements in the treatment of TRAPS. A formal trial of etanercept to establish its role in clinical management is indicated.