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N Engl J Med. 2018 May 17;378(20):1908-1919. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1706314.

Canakinumab for the Treatment of Autoinflammatory Recurrent Fever Syndromes.

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From the Division of Rheumatology, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Rome (F.D.B.), Clinica Pediatrica e Reumatologia, Unità Operativa Semplice Dipartimentale di Malattie Autoinfiammatorie e Immunodeficienze, IRCCS, Istituto G. Gaslini, Genoa (M.G.), the Pediatric Clinic, University of Brescia and Spedali Civili, Brescia (M.C.), and the Amyloidosis Research and Treatment Center, Biotechnology Research Laboratories, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia (L.O.) - all in Italy; the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Universitat de Barcelona (J.A.), and the Internal Medicine Department, Autoimmune and Systemic Diseases Unit, Hospital Vall d'Hebron (S.B.-R.), Barcelona, and the Pediatric Rheumatology Unit, Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe, Valencia (I.C.P.) - all in Spain; the Rheumatology Unit, Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital (E.B.-C.), and the Pediatric Rheumatology Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center (P.J.H.), Jerusalem, and Heller Institute of Medical Research and Medicine Faculty, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (A.L.) - all in Israel; the Division of Pediatrics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht (J.F.), and the Radboud Expertise Center for Immunodeficiency and Autoinflammation, Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (A. Simon) - both in the Netherlands; the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of California at San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, San Diego (H.M.H.); the Department of Pediatric Rheumatology, Centre de Référence des Maladies Auto-inflammatoires et de l'Amylose Inflammatoire, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Bicêtre, Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris (APHP), Université de Paris Sud (I.K.-P.), and Paris-Descartes University, Imagine Institute, Unité d'Immuno-Hématologie et Rhumatologie Pédiatrique, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, APHP (P.Q.), Paris; the National Amyloidosis Centre, University College London Division of Medicine, Royal Free Campus (H.J.L.), and University College London, Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (P.B.), London; the Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University, Ankara (S.O.), and the Department of Pediatric Rheumatology, Cerrahpasa Medical School (O.K.), and Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology (A.G.), Istanbul University, Istanbul - all in Turkey; the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (A.Z.); the Department of Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine, CHU Sart-Tilman, University of Liège, Liege (M.M.), and the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Jessa Hospital, University of Hasselt, Hasselt (J.V.H.) - both in Belgium; the Department of Clinical Immunology, Center for Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Immunology, Moscow (A. Shcherbina); Pediatric Rheumatology of Western Switzerland, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, (M.H.), and Novartis, Basel (K.L., A. Speziale, G.J.) - both in Switzerland; the Department of Pediatrics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan (R.H.); and the Department of Pediatrics, Semmelweis Egyetem, Budapest, Hungary (T.C.).



Familial Mediterranean fever, mevalonate kinase deficiency (also known as the hyperimmunoglobulinemia D syndrome), and the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) are monogenic autoinflammatory diseases characterized by recurrent fever flares.


We randomly assigned patients with genetically confirmed colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever, mevalonate kinase deficiency, or TRAPS at the time of a flare to receive 150 mg of canakinumab subcutaneously or placebo every 4 weeks. Patients who did not have a resolution of their flare received an add-on injection of 150 mg of canakinumab. The primary outcome was complete response (resolution of flare and no flare until week 16). In the subsequent phase up to week 40, patients who had a complete response underwent a second randomization to receive canakinumab or placebo every 8 weeks. Patients who underwent a second randomization and had a subsequent flare and all other patients received open-label canakinumab.


At week 16, significantly more patients receiving canakinumab had a complete response than those receiving placebo: 61% vs. 6% of patients with colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever (P<0.001), 35% versus 6% of those with mevalonate kinase deficiency (P=0.003), and 45% versus 8% of those with TRAPS (P=0.006). The inclusion of patients whose dose was increased to 300 mg every 4 weeks yielded a complete response in 71% of those with colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever, 57% of those with mevalonate kinase deficiency, and 73% of those with TRAPS. After week 16, an extended dosing regimen (every 8 weeks) maintained disease control in 46% of patients with colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever, 23% of those with mevalonate kinase deficiency, and 53% of those with TRAPS. Among patients who received canakinumab, the most frequently reported adverse events were infections (173.3, 313.5, and 148.0 per 100 patient-years among patients with colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever, those with mevalonate kinase deficiency, and those with TRAPS, respectively), with a few being serious infections (6.6, 13.7, and 0.0 per 100 patient-years).


In this trial, canakinumab was effective in controlling and preventing flares in patients with colchicine-resistant familial Mediterranean fever, mevalonate kinase deficiency, and TRAPS. (Funded by Novartis; CLUSTER number, NCT02059291 .).

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