Objectives: We conducted a meta-analysis of recently published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to identify the most effective and safe etanercept dosing regimen and duration of therapy for the treatment of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Methods: We systematically reviewed PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases for RCTs. The proportion of patients attaining 20 percent improvement (according to the Spondyloarthritis International Society response criteria [ASAS 20]) was evaluated as a primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included 50 percent increase in the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI 50) used for evaluating efficacy, as well as the BASDAI/Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) scores and adverse events.
Results: ASAS 20 indicated that the efficacy of etanercept did not differ amongst dosing regimens (25 mg twice-weekly versus 50 mg once-weekly: relative risk [RR], 2.18, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.78–2.67 versus RR, 2.00, 95 percent CI, 1.70–2.37). The ASAS 20 reported subgroup differences among treatment durations of less than 12 weeks (RR, 2.70; 95 percent CI, 2.09–3.49); 12 weeks (RR, 1.74; 95 percent CI, 1.37–2.22); and more than 12 weeks (RR, 2.56; 95 percent CI, 1.88–3.48). Other outcomes included BASDAI, BASDAI 50, and BASFI. Drug safety differed according to the treatment regimen and duration.
Conclusion: Our meta-analysis found that there was no significant efficacy difference between 50 mg once-weekly and 25 mg twice-weekly dosing for the treatment of AS, and a dosing duration of less than 12 weeks was more effective for treating AS patients.