Factors associated with successful discontinuation of certolizumab pegol in early rheumatoid arthritis

Yoshiya Tanaka, Tatsuya Atsumi, Kazuhiko Yamamoto, Tsutomu Takeuchi, Hisashi Yamanaka, Naoki Ishiguro, Katsumi Eguchi, Akira Watanabe, Hideki Origasa, Toshiharu Shoji, Nobuyuki Miyasaka, Takao Koike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: The Certolizumab–Optimal Prevention of joint damage for Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (C-OPERA) study demonstrated that in methotrexate (MTX)-naïve early RA patients with poor prognostic factors, 1-year certolizumab pegol (CZP) therapy added to the first year of 2-year optimized MTX therapy brings radiographic and clinical benefits through 2 years even after stopping CZP. This exploratory analysis aimed to identify factors at baseline and at CZP discontinuation associated with successful CZP discontinuation. Methods: MTX-naïve early RA patients with poor prognostic factors entered C-OPERA (NCT01451203), a multicenter, randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomized to CZP + MTX (n = 159) or PBO + MTX (n = 157); those who completed the 1-year, double-blind period received MTX alone in Year 2 (CZP + MTX→MTX, n = 108; PBO + MTX→MTX, n = 71). Association between factors at baseline or at discontinuation of CZP and clinical/radiographic outcomes were evaluated by multiple logistic regression analysis. Predictive value cut-offs were calculated using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: Sex (male) and low baseline Disease Activity Score of 28 joints – erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) were associated with simple disease activity index (SDAI) remission (≤3.3), whereas high baseline DAS28-ESR and modified total Sharp score (mTSS) were associated with clinically relevant radiographic progression (yearly progression mTSS > 3) at Week 104 (across both treatment arms). Low DAS28-ESR (<2.1) and rheumatoid factor (RF; <74 IU/mL) at discontinuation of CZP were associated with SDAI remission at Week 104. At Week 104, SDAI remission was achieved by 75.0% (42/56) of patients with low DAS28-ESR and RF at discontinuation, compared to 15.4% (2/13) of patients with high DAS28-ESR and RF. Conclusion: Patients with low RF and low disease activity after treatment with CZP + MTX may be able to discontinue CZP without risk of loss of response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-324
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1


  • anti-TNF
  • certolizumab pegol
  • discontinuation
  • early rheumatoid arthritis
  • prognostic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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