Background: Biologic agents are currently the strongest immunosuppressive drugs able to induce remission in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). One of the objectives of the medical scientific community now is how to maintain remission or low disease activity (LDA). The aim of this trial is to evaluate the contribution of low-dose sequential kinetic activation (SKA) IL-4, IL-10, and anti-IL-1 antibodies (10 fg/mL) in patients affected by RA in maintaining LDA or remission obtained after biological therapy.
Method: This is a randomized, open, active-controlled, prospective, Phase IV trial. Disease activity score (DAS28), clinical disease activity index, simplified disease activity index, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein levels, global health assessment, and pain visual analog scale were evaluated at baseline visit and then every 3 months together with an assessment of side effects till 12 months. Thirty-nine RA patients were enrolled and randomized to continue disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) therapy or to receive a combination of SKA low-dose cytokines formulated in concentration of 10 fg/mL orally administered at a dose of 20 drops/d for 12 consecutive months.
Results: The rate of maintenance of LDA at 12 months was superior in the group treated with low-dose cytokines compared with patients treated with DMARDs, 66.7% and 42.1%, respectively; however, the difference between the groups was not statistically significant. No side effects were reported in both groups.
Conclusion: This is the first study using a combination of three low-dose cytokines in RA, after data published on psoriasis. These data suggest that the use of a combination of low-dose SKA cytokines may be an opportunity to explore in the management of RA.
Keywords: RA; SKA; biological agents; low disease activity; low-dose antibodies; low-dose cytokines.