Biologics in Relapsing Polychondritis

Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare disease which involved recurrent inflammation of cartilage and other tissues. This disease is painful and can cause joint deformity but can also be lethal if areas such as the blood vessels are affected. 

In this French multicenter retrospective cohort study in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of biologics on patients with RP. 

According to the study, efficacy outcomes were clinical response (partial or complete) and complete response during the first 6 months of exposure, plus daily corticosteroid dose at 6 months. Forty-one patients were on 105 biologics in the study (tumor-necrosis factor [TNF] inhibitors, n=60; tocilizumab, n=17; anakinra, n=15; rituximab, n=7; abatacept, n=6). The overall response rate of patients during the first 6 months of exposure was 62.9%, with a complete response rate of 19.0%. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) consisted mostly of infection (n=42). The seasons for biologic withdrawal were insufficient efficacy, loss of efficacy, and ADRs. 

Although the study’s focus was the efficacy and safety of biologics for RP, “the number of complete responses was low and there were concerns about the risk of ADRs, particularly infections,” the researchers concluded. 

SOURCE: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases