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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Arthritis Research and Therapy, Volume 21, Issue 1, August 2019, Article number 190.

The published version is available at Copyright © Tesser et al.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of intravenous golimumab + methotrexate (MTX) in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) aged < 65 years and those ≥ 65 years who were enrolled in the GO-FURTHER study.

METHODS: In the phase III, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled GO-FURTHER trial, patients with active RA were randomized to intravenous (IV) golimumab 2 mg/kg + MTX or placebo + MTX at weeks 0 and 4, then every 8 weeks thereafter (with crossover to golimumab at week 16 [early escape] or week 24 [per-protocol]). The final golimumab infusion was at week 100. Assessments included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20/50/70 response criteria. Efficacy and adverse events (AEs) were monitored through 2 years. Efficacy and AEs were summarized for patients aged < 65 years or ≥ 65 years; AEs were also summarized for patients < or ≥ 70 years and patients < or ≥ 75 years.

RESULTS: In GO-FURTHER, 592 patients were randomized to receive placebo (n = 197) or golimumab (n = 395), 515 were aged < 65 years and 77 were ≥ 65 years. At week 24, ACR20 response rates were greater for golimumab + MTX patients compared with placebo + MTX for patients < 65 years (61.6% vs 31.3%, p < 0.001) and those ≥ 65 years (69.5% vs 33.3%; p < 0.01). Infections were the most common AE through week 112 (51.6% in patients < 65 years; 55.3% in patients ≥ 65 years); upper respiratory infections were the most common infection in patients < 65 years (13.2%) and those ≥ 65 years (11.8%). Serious AEs occurred in 17.7% in patients < 65 years and 25.0% of patients ≥ 65 years and included malignancies, pneumonia, fractures, acute pancreatitis, cellulitis, and bacterial arthritis.

CONCLUSIONS: In GO-FURTHER, ACR response rates were similar between patients < 65 years and patients ≥ 65 years within each treatment group. AEs in elderly patients were similar to the known safety profile of IV golimumab. Immunosenescence is known to increase the risk of infections in the elderly. Elderly patients had a numerically higher incidence of serious infections. Six malignancies occurred in golimumab-treated patients, all in patients < 65 years.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00973479 . Registered September 9, 2009.

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