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Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 May;104(5):1170-9. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.59. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Comparison of two adalimumab treatment schedule strategies for moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease: results from the CHARM trial.

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Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Hôpital Claude Huriez, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Lille, Lille, France.



To compare outcomes of induction dosing followed by continuous adalimumab treatment with those of induction dosing with reinitiation of adalimumab (in the event of clinical deterioration) for patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease (CD) who participated in the Crohn's Trial of the Fully Human Antibody Adalimumab for Remission Maintenance (CHARM).


In the CHARM trial, all patients received open-label induction therapy with adalimumab 80 mg and 40 mg at weeks 0 and 2, respectively. In total, 778 patients were randomized at week 4 to one of three groups: (1) placebo after initial induction doses (followed by reinitiation of adalimumab therapy); (2) continuous maintenance treatment with adalimumab 40 mg every other week (e.o.w.); and (3) continuous maintenance treatment with adalimumab 40 mg every week. At/after week 12, patients receiving placebo with flare or non-response could reinitiate open-label adalimumab 40 mg e.o.w., and patients receiving continuous blinded adalimumab therapy could switch to open-label 40 mg e.o.w. Patients in all groups could switch to weekly therapy with continued flare/non-response. In the previously published primary analysis, results for only those patients who had responded at week 4 (decrease in Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) of > or = 70 points, referred to as "randomized responders") and remained on blinded therapy were analyzed. In this analysis, data from all randomized patients were analyzed based on original randomized treatment using an intention-to-treat analysis, regardless of whether they subsequently switched to open-label therapy. Disease activity, clinical remission, number of flares, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ) score, number of CD-related surgeries, and hospitalization incidence were compared between the continuous and induction only/reinitiation adalimumab groups.


Results for all outcome measures were superior for both continuous groups compared with the induction only/reinitiation group. On the basis of median CDAI and IBDQ results, patients in both continuous treatment groups achieved statistically significantly greater improvements vs. the induction only/reinitiation group (P < 0.05). At week 56, a significantly greater percentage of patients who had received continuous adalimumab (51% for e.o.w. and 49% for weekly) were in clinical remission vs. the induction only/reinitiation group (38%, P < 0.05). Continuous adalimumab therapy was also associated with fewer flares and fewer CD-related surgeries (P < 0.05). Patients in both continuous adalimumab groups had significantly lower risks of CD-related and all-cause hospitalizations than did patients in the induction only/reinitiation group (P < 0.05).


For patients with active CD, continuous treatment with adalimumab was more effective than a strategy of induction dosing followed by reinitiation of adalimumab with clinical deterioration for maintenance of clinical remission, improved quality-of life outcomes, reduced flares, and a decrease in number of surgeries and risk of hospitalization.

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