Objective: Previous work suggested the potential utility of therapy with a monoclonal antibody (Mab) to intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1; CD54) in patients with longstanding rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Immunomodulatory interventions, including adhesion receptor directed therapies, might be expected to have greater efficacy in patients with less established or less aggressive disease. Therefore, we assessed the efficacy and safety of an anti-ICAM-1 Mab in patients with early RA.
Methods: An open label study of a 5 day infusion of an anti-ICAM-1 Mab in 10 patients with early or indolent RA was conducted. These patients were defined as having previously used < or = 1 disease modifying antirheumatic drug.
Results: Based on composite criteria, 7/10 patients had a marked or moderate response to therapy at one month of followup. Clinical benefit was sustained through 2 months for 5/10 patients and 3/10 had extended benefit (11, 8, and > 7 months). Clinical benefit was more likely to be obtained in patients with subacute onset of disease than in those with a fulminant onset.
Conclusion: A single course of therapy with an anti-ICAM-1 Mab was associated with clinical improvement in a group of patients with early or indolent RA to an extent apparently greater than previously observed in patients with longstanding, aggressive RA.