Last updated on May 2008

Examination of Radiographic Progression Efficacy and Safety of Long-Term Treatment With Infliximab in Patients With Ankylosing Spondylitis


Brief description of study

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that involves the sacroiliac joints, axial skeleton, entheses and peripheral joints. Current therapy for AS is mainly NSAIDs and physiotherapy which are oft insufficient. Treatment with the TNF-alpha blocking agent infliximab was shown to have definite clinical efficacy in patients with active AS on a short- and a long-term-basis over 2 years. We want to show that treatment with infliximab on a long-term basis over 4 years is safe and efficient and can prevent radiographic progression over a long period of time. Further we want to learn about the outcome after discontinuation of anti-TNF-alpha therapy.

Detailed Study Description

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology that involves the sacroiliac joints, axial skeleton, entheses and peripheral joints. Chronic inflammation of entheses leads to new bone formation, syndesmophytes and ankylosis of joints, primarily in the axial skeleton. This leads to a dramatic loss of range of motion and to disability. The disease may also have nonskeletal manifestations including uveitis, carditis, pulmonary fibrosis and cardiac conduction abnormalities. Current therapy for AS is mainly with NSAIDs and physiotherapy which are often insufficient. Clinical outcome with conventional therapies has not been good, with 50-70% of patients progressing to fusion of the spine by 10 to 15 years. Treatment with the TNF-alpha blocking agent infliximab was shown to have definite clinical efficacy in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis on a short- and a long-term basis over 2 years. There is limited data available on the efficacy and safety of long-term anti-TNF therapy for 3 and more years, the outcome after discontinuation of anti-TNF therapy and the effect of anti-TNF therapy on radiographic progression over a long period of time. The ASSERT trial was a 2 year international randomized placebo controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety ot treatment with infliximab in patients with active and severe AS. The EASIC trial is initiated to follow the European participants of the ASSERT trial for at least an additional 2 years of treatment combined with systematic data collection.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00237419

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Serge Steinfeld, Prof.Dr.

Erasme University Hospital
Brussels, Belgium
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Piet Geusens, Prof. Dr.

Limburg University Centre
Diepenbeek, Belgium
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Filip van den Bosch, Dr.

Universitair Ziekenhuis, Afdeling Rheumatologie
Gent, Belgium
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Rene Westhovens, Prof.Dr.

University Hospital Leuven
Leuven, Belgium
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Marjatta Leirisalo-Repo, Prof. Dr.

University Central Hospital, Division of Rheumatology
Helsinki, Finland
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Maxime Breban, Prof.Dr.

Groupe Hopitalier Cochin
Paris, France
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Maxime Dougados, Prof.Dr.

Universitat R. Descartes, Hopital Cochin
Paris, France
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Joachim Sieper, Prof.Dr.

Charite Klinikum Steglitz
Berlin, Germany
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Gerd Burmester, Prof. Dr.

Charite Mitte
Berlin, Germany
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