AS & Psoriatic Arthritis - Arthritis Meeting 2003 (cont.)

Ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis are genetically and clinically related diseases. I will, therefore, report on papers presented at this meeting related to both of the diseases here.


Several reports noted the safety and effectiveness of Enbrel (etanercept) for treating patients with psoriatic arthritis. Enbrel was also shown, in a separate study, to improve quality of life in patients with psoriatic arthritis.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: Enbrel has been granted FDA approval for psoriatic arthritis this year because of previous reports that had similar results.

Enbrel was reported effective in treating ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: Look for FDA approval for this purpose soon.

Remicade (infliximab) was reported as safe and effective in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: Actually, rheumatologists have been using the drug for these patients for some time because of other preliminary positive reports in these conditions. It is good to have the support of this further long-term follow-up research.

Remicade was also reported to be effective in juvenile ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: Welcome news for this painful form of arthritis in children.

Remicade's beneficial effect in treating ankylosing spondylitis was shown to be sustained over a 2 year study period.

Dr. Shiel's Perspective: This is a type of study that demonstrates that not only does Remicade work for spondylitis patients, but its benefits are longterm.

Arava (leflunomide) was significantly effective in treating BOTH the skin inflammation (psoriasis) and the arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis.