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.