Two-year clinical outcomes after discontinuation of long-term golimumab therapy in Korean patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Kichul Shin, Hyun Mi Kwon, Min Jung Kim, Myung Jae Yoon, Hyun Gyung Chai, Seong Wook Kang, Won Park, Sung Hwan Park, Chang Hee Suh, Hyun Ah Kim, Seung Geun Lee, Choong Ki Lee, Sang Cheol Bae, Yong Beom Park, Yeong Wook Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term post-discontinuation outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had been treated with tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors (TNF-αi) which was then discontinued. Methods: Sixty Korean patients with RA who participated in a 5-year GO-BEFORE and GO-FORWARD extension trials were included in this retrospective study. Golimumab was deliberately discontinued after the extension study (baseline). Patients were then followed by their rheumatologists. We reviewed their medical records for 2 years (max 28 months) following golimumab discontinuation. Patients were divided into a maintained benefit (MB) group and a loss-of-benefit (LB) group based on treatment pattern after golimumab discontinuation. The LB group included patients whose conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drug(s) were stepped-up or added/switched (SC) and those who restarted biologic therapy (RB). Results: The mean age of patients at baseline was 56.5 years and 55 (91.7%) were females. At the end of follow-up, 23 (38.3%) patients remained in the MB group. In the LB group, 75.7% and 24.3% were assigned into SC and RB subgroups, respectively. Fifty percent of patients lost MB after 23.3 months. Demographics and clinical variables at baseline were comparable between MB and LB groups except for age, C-reactive protein level, and corticosteroid use. Restarting biologic therapy was associated with swollen joint count (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 3.55) and disease duration (adjusted HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.23) at baseline. Conclusions: Treatment strategies after discontinuing TNF-αi are needed to better maintain disease control and quality of life of patients with RA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1069
Number of pages9
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Health

Funding Information:
Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI14C1277), Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Healthcare & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI10C2020), and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea (NRF-2015M3A9B6052011, NRF-2020M3E5E2037430).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Korean Association of Internal Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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