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J Rheumatol. 2008 Jan;35(1):20-30. Epub 2007 Nov 15.

Improved health-related quality of life for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis receiving rituximab: Results of the Dose-Ranging Assessment: International Clinical Evaluation of Rituximab in Rheumatoid Arthritis (DANCER) Trial.

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  • 1Seattle Rheumatology Associates, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.



To evaluate the effect of rituximab treatment on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who have had an inadequate response to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, including biologic agents.


A randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 367 rheumatoid factor-positive patients was conducted. Patients received 2 infusions 2 weeks apart of placebo (n = 122), rituximab 500 mg (n = 123), or rituximab 1000 mg (n = 122), with or without glucocorticoids. All patients received stable doses of methotrexate (10 25 mg/wk). Measures included SF-36, assessed at baseline and at 24 weeks, as well as the HAQ and FACIT-Fatigue scale assessed at baseline and monthly for 24 weeks. Patients exceeding prespecified minimal clinically important differences (MCID) were examined. Clinical efficacy measurements (ACR20/50/70 and EULAR responses) were compared with HRQOL outcomes.


At 24 weeks, the rituximab 500 mg and 1000 mg groups both reported statistically significantly greater improvements on the SF-36 physical component summary (4.37 and 4.89 points higher, respectively, vs placebo; p < 0.001). SF-36 physical function, bodily pain, vitality, social function, and role-physical subscale scores also statistically significantly improved vs placebo. At 24 weeks, 62.6% and 67.2% of the rituximab 500 mg and 1000 mg groups, respectively, exceeded the MCID of 0.22 in HAQ (p < 0.001). For FACIT-Fatigue, 55.3% and 65.6% of patients exceeded the MCID of 3.5 points compared with 35.2% of placebo over 24 weeks (p < 0.001). ACR20/50/70 and EULAR responders demonstrated greater improvements in mean baseline to 24 week changes in SF-36 and FACIT-Fatigue scores compared with nonresponders (p < 0.05).


Both rituximab doses in combination with methotrexate were effective in improving all HRQOL outcomes in patients with active RA consistent with clinical efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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