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IL-6 Blocker Effective Two Years After Withdrawal

MedPage Today interviews Robert F. Spiera, MD, rheumatologist at HSS, at the 2019 American College of Rheumatology meeting to discuss the findings of the GiACTA trial extension, of which tocilizumab for giant cell arteritis proved to be durable in nearly half of the patients who were treated weekly.

Dr. Spiera noted, “The most important observations from this extension phase trial was that patients who entered the extension phase or the extended observation phase in remission who had been on tocilizumab in the first phase of the study, almost 50 percent of those patients remained in remission during the duration of 2 further years of follow-up, meaning initial treatment of a giant cell arteritis patient with tocilizumab and a 26-week prednisone taper resulted in nearly 50 percent of those patients being in maintained remission at 3 years' follow-up. That's really important for one of the most important questions or common questions physicians ask is, ‘When do we stop tocilizumab?’ It means then in a large number of patients that are in remission, they may do well stopping tocilizumab with the recognition you could continue it or resume it at a later point in time.”

Watch the video at MedPageToday.com.