Efficacy and safety of rituximab in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis enrolled in a French Society of Rheumatology registry.

Arthritis care & research

PubMedID: 25299001

Payet S, Soubrier M, Perrodeau E, Bardin T, Cantagrel A, Combe B, Dougados M, Flipo RM, Le Loët X, Shaeverbeke T, Ravaud P, Gottenberg JE, Mariette X. Efficacy and safety of rituximab in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis enrolled in a French Society of Rheumatology registry. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014;66(9):1289-95.
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of rituximab (RTX) as a function of patient age.

METHODS
We included all rheumatoid arthritis patients in the AutoImmunity and Rituximab registry with a 2-year followup.

RESULTS
Of the 1,709 patients, 191 were age =75 years, 417 were ages 65–74 years, 907 were ages 50–64 years, and 194 were age <50 years. At baseline, the elderly and very elderly patients presented with longer disease duration, a higher incidence of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level, a lower incidence of previous tumor necrosis factor a (TNFa) therapy, and a smaller number of previously used TNFa agents. Disease activity, rheumatoid factor (RF), or anti–cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies and corticosteroid therapy were not statistically different among the groups. At 24 months, no significant difference was shown among the groups for RTX discontinuation rates (36.1% if age <50 years, 32.6% if ages 50–64 years, 34.5% if ages 65–74 years, and 32.5% if age >75 years). The reasons for discontinuation (inefficacy, adverse events) were the same in all 4 groups. Infections were more common in the elderly. Patients ages 65–75 years were more likely to be good responders than nonresponders at 1 year of followup than patients age =75 years (odds ratio 3.81, 95% confidence interval 1.14–12.79) after adjustment on disease duration, RF/anti-CCP positivity, corticosteroids, anti-TNF use, and baseline Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28). After the sixth month, the decrease in DAS28 score was less marked in the population age >75 years than in the group age <50 years.

CONCLUSION
The efficacy and safety of RTX is affected by age.