Etanercept treatment of psoriatic arthritis: safety, efficacy, and effect on disease progression

Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Jul;50(7):2264-72. doi: 10.1002/art.20335.


Objective: Etanercept has been shown to improve the articular and cutaneous manifestations of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). In this study, we further evaluated the safety, efficacy, and effect on radiographic progression of etanercept in patients with PsA.

Methods: Patients with PsA (n = 205) were randomized to receive placebo or 25 mg etanercept subcutaneously twice weekly for 24 weeks. Patients continued to receive blind-labeled therapy in a maintenance phase until all had completed the 24-week phase, then could receive open-label etanercept in a 48-week extension. Efficacy and safety were evaluated at 4, 12, and 24 weeks and at 12-week intervals thereafter. Radiographs of the hands and wrists were assessed at baseline and 24 weeks, at entry to the open-label phase, and after 48 weeks in the study.

Results: Etanercept significantly reduced the signs and symptoms of PsA and psoriasis. At 12 weeks, 59% of etanercept patients met the American College of Rheumatology 20% improvement criteria for joint response, compared with 15% of placebo patients (P < 0.0001), and results were sustained at 24 and 48 weeks. At 24 weeks, 23% of etanercept patients eligible for psoriasis evaluation achieved at least 75% improvement in the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, compared with 3% of placebo patients (P = 0.001). Radiographic disease progression was inhibited in the etanercept group at 12 months; the mean annualized rate of change in the modified total Sharp score was -0.03 unit, compared with +1.00 unit in the placebo group (P = 0.0001). Etanercept was well tolerated.

Conclusion: Etanercept reduced joint symptoms, improved psoriatic lesions, inhibited radiographic progression, and was well tolerated in patients with PsA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / physiopathology
  • Arthrography
  • Disease Progression
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / adverse effects
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / adverse effects
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Etanercept