Tocilizumab & Prednisone helps in reducing treatment failure
This Study aimed to identify the predictors of treatment failure in patients with giant cell arteritis (GCA) receiving tocilizumab in combination with glucocorticoids and in patients with GCA receiving only glucocorticoids.

Posthoc analysis of the Giant-Cell Arteritis Actemra trial including 250 patients who received tocilizumab every week plus a 26-week prednisone taper (n=100), tocilizumab every-other-week plus a 26-week prednisone taper (n=49) or placebo plus a 26-week (n=50) or 52-week (n=51) prednisone taper in the intention-to-treat population.

Responders for this analysis were patients who maintained remission through week 52. Treatment failure was defined as inability to achieve remission by week 12 or relapse between weeks 12 and 52. Predictors investigated in univariate and multivariable analyses included patient characteristics, disease-related and treatment-related factors and patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

--149 patients received tocilizumab plus prednisone (TCZ/PDN) and 101 received placebo plus prednisone (PBO+PDN).

--After adjustment for confounders, treatment failure was significantly less likely in the TCZ/PDN group than the PBO/PDN group (OR, 0.2).

-Risk for treatment failure was significantly higher in women than men in the PBO/PDN group (OR, 5.2) but not in the TCZ/PDN group.

--Predictors of treatment failure in the TCZ/PDN group included lower baseline prednisone doses and worse PROs at baseline.

Finally, treatment with prednisone alone and female sex are the most important risk factors for GCA treatment failure. Lower starting prednisone doses and impaired PROs are associated with failure to respond to tocilizumab.