The Open Rheumatology Journal

ISSN: 1874-3129 ― Volume 14, 2020

Predictors of Remission Maintenance after Etanercept Tapering or Withdrawal in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results from the PRIZE Study

Paul Emery1, *, Ronald Pedersen2, Jack Bukowski2, Lisa Marshall2
1 Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, and the National Institute for Health Research Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Centre, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
2 Pfizer, Collegeville, PA, USA



To explore the influence of early treatment response to etanercept-methotrexate therapy on sustained remission after tapering/withdrawal of etanercept in methotrexate/biologic-naïve patients with early rheumatoid arthritis in the PRIZE study ( NCT00913458).


In the initial 52-week open-label phase, enrolled patients received once-weekly etanercept 50 mg plus methotrexate. Patients who achieved DAS28 ≤3.2 at week 39 and <2.6 at week 52 were randomized to etanercept 25 mg plus methotrexate, methotrexate monotherapy, or placebo once weekly for 39 weeks in the double-blind phase. The relationships between responses in the open-label phase and sustained remission (DAS28 <2.6 at weeks 76 and 91, without glucocorticoid rescue therapy from weeks 52 to 64) in the double-blind phase were analyzed.


In the open-label phase, 70% of patients achieved DAS28 remission at week 52. In the double-blind phase, 63%, 40%, and 23% of patients had sustained DAS28 remission in the reduced-dose combination-therapy, methotrexate-monotherapy, and placebo groups, respectively. In patients receiving reduced-dose combination therapy, sustained remission was more likely in those who achieved DAS28 remission (p = 0.005) or low disease activity (p=0.044) in a shorter time, and who had a lower DAS28 (p = 0.016) or achieved ACR/EULAR Boolean remission (p < 0.05) at the end of the open-label phase. In patients receiving methotrexate monotherapy, sustained remission was associated with a lower acute-phase response (C-reactive protein, p = 0.007; erythrocyte sedimentation rate, p = 0.016) at the end of the open-label phase.


Fast response and suppression of inflammation with etanercept-methotrexate therapy may predict successful etanercept tapering/withdrawal in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, Treatment, Biologic, Remission, Low disease activity, Etanercept, Methotrexate.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 179
Last Page: 188
Publisher Id: TORJ-12-179
DOI: 10.2174/1874312901812010179

Article History:

Received Date: 20/6/2018
Revision Received Date: 10/8/2018
Acceptance Date: 1/10/2018
Electronic publication date: 30/10/2018
Collection year: 2018

© 2018 Emery et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, and the National Institute for Health Research Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Centre, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK; Tel: +44 0113 392 4884; E-mail:

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