Background: The course of biological treatment in clinical practice may be highly different from treatment schedules in clinical trials. Treatment modifications and patient characteristics may influence treatment safety and efficacy. So far, long-term results from the use of biological treatment in clinical practice are lacking.
Objectives: To report short- and long-term efficacy and safety data on biologics, especially etanercept, used in daily clinical practice. Special attention has been paid to patient characteristics that may have influenced the response to therapy.
Methods: Prospectively collected registry data of all patients with psoriasis treated with biologics in the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre outpatient clinic were used for analysis. Patient and treatment characteristics were surveyed. Efficacy and safety of etanercept for up to 3 years were analysed. Moreover, the influence of patient characteristics on etanercept treatment response was studied.
Results: The analysed cohort, consisting of 118 patients, went through 142 treatment episodes in total. Patients treated with biologics had an extensive medical history. Optimization of biological treatment was established in various ways, including treatment switches and introduction of concomitant therapies. Short-term etanercept efficacy analysis showed a mean Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) improvement at week 24 of 59.7%. No significant influence of gender, age, baseline PASI, body mass index, number of previous systemic therapies or duration of psoriasis was found on week 24 efficacy results, although trends were discernible. The efficacy of etanercept remained stable for up to 156 weeks. Long-term daily practice treatment with etanercept was only occasionally accompanied by major safety concerns.
Conclusions: The current study demonstrates that etanercept is able to improve psoriasis symptoms for a considerable time, and that serious side-effects are infrequent. The influence of patient characteristics on treatment response is limited.