A randomized trial of etanercept as monotherapy for psoriasis

Arch Dermatol. 2003 Dec;139(12):1627-32; discussion 1632. doi: 10.1001/archderm.139.12.1627.


Objective: To determine safety and efficacy of monotherapy with etanercept.

Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study.

Setting: Outpatient, ambulatory; private practice and university dermatology research centers.

Patients: Patients aged at least 18 years, with plaque psoriasis involving 10% or more of body surface area; 148 were screened and 112 were randomly assigned to treatment groups and received study drug.

Interventions: Patients received placebo or etanercept, 25 mg, subcutaneously twice a week for 24 weeks. Other psoriasis therapies were limited during the study.

Main outcome measures: Safety measurements included tracking of adverse events and laboratory values. Efficacy was evaluated using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI); the primary end point was a 75% improvement in PASI. Other efficacy measurements included patient and physician global assessments and quality-of-life measures.

Results: After 12 weeks of treatment, 17 (30%) of the 57 etanercept-treated patients and 1 (2%) of the 55 placebo-treated patients had achieved PASI 75%, and after 24 weeks, 32 (56%) of etanercept-treated patients and 3 (5%) of placebo-treated patients had reached this level (P<.001 for both time points). By 24 weeks, psoriasis was clear or minimal by physician's global assessment in more than 50% of patients who received etanercept. Treatment failure (PASI response <50) occurred in 23% of patients at week 24. All other measures confirmed the efficacy of etanercept. Adverse events were similar among etanercept and placebo groups.

Conclusion: Etanercept monotherapy provided significant benefit to patients with psoriasis and had a favorable safety profile.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Computer Graphics
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Etanercept