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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012 Jul-Aug;30(4 Suppl 73):S27-31. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Long-term results of the FIN-RACo trial; treatment with a combination of traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs is an excellent option in early rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland. vappu.rantalaiho@pshp.fi


The Finnish Rheumatoid Arthritis Combination Therapy Trial (FIN-RACo) started in 1993, in an era of disappointing results in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The FIN-RACo was the first trial aiming at remission and comparing two different treatment strategies: initially triple therapy with compulsory prednisolone (FIN-RACo strategy), or monotherapy with optional prednisolone (SINGLE strategy). The results at 2, 5 and at 11 years are in favour of the initial FIN-RACo strategy without an increase in adversities. Nevertheless, with targeted treatment, even the SINGLE strategy group patients show low disease activity and moderate radiographic progression. Most leading Finnish rheumatologists participated in the FIN-RACo trial and have become convinced of the excellent results, good safety, and feasible administration of the FIN-RACo strategy. They have thus adopted it in real life and tutored the next generation to do the same. This has undoubtedly affected the Finnish approach to treating early RA; the Finnish Current Care Guideline recommends the FIN-RACo combination as the first treatment choice in early, active RA. As a consequence, the use of biologics in early RA is less frequent in Finland compared to many countries. Simultaneously, however, at least one hard outcome of RA, work disability, has decreased.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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