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Efficacy of Tocilizumab in Patients With Moderate-to-Severe Corticosteroid-Resistant Graves Orbitopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Published:August 03, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2018.07.038

      Objective

      To demonstrate the efficacy of the anti-interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody tocilizumab in patients with moderate-to-severe corticosteroid-resistant Graves orbitopathy (GO).

      Design

      Double-masked randomized clinical trial.

      Methods

      Setting and Participants: Thirty-two adults with moderate-to-severe corticosteroid-resistant GO from 10 medical centers in Spain were randomized (1:1). Intervention: Randomization to either 8 mg/kg body weight tocilizumab or placebo administered intravenously at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12, and follow-up for an additional 28 weeks. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with a change from baseline to week 16 of at least 2 in the clinical activity score (CAS).

      Results

      The primary outcome was met by 93.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 70.1%-98.8%) of the patients receiving tocilizumab and 58.8% (36%-78.3%) receiving placebo (P = .04; odds ratio, 9.8 [CI 1.3-73.2]). A significant difference was also observed in the proportion of patients achieving a CAS < 3 (86.7% [CI 62.1%-96.2%] vs 35.2% [CI 17.3%-58.7%], P = .005; OR 11.9 [CI 2.1-63.1]) at week 16. Additionally, a larger proportion of patients with improvement in the European Group on GO–proposed composite ophthalmic score at week 16 (73.3% [CI 48%-89.1%] vs 29.4% [CI 13.2%-53.1%]; P = .03), and exophthalmos size change from baseline to week 16 (-1.5 [-2.0 to 0.5] mm vs 0.0 [-1.0 to 0.5] mm; P = .01) were seen with tocilizumab. One patient experienced a moderate increase in transaminases at week 8; another had an acute pyelonephritis at week 32 in the tocilizumab-treated group.

      Conclusion

      Tocilizumab offers a meaningful improvement in activity and severity in corticosteroid-resistant GO. This trial justifies further studies to characterize the role of tocilizumab in GO.
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