Adalimumab has shown efficacy in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis; however, it is associated with potentially serious adverse events and causes substantial financial burden. Many patients with JIA-associated uveitis who have reached disease control on adalimumab are interested in stopping the drug, but there is minimal data on recurrence of uveitis after discontinuation of adalimumab. We propose a multicenter, double-masked, randomized clinical trial of patients with JIA-associated uveitis to compare rate of recurrence and time to recurrence of ocular inflammation in patients randomized to discontinue adalimumab compared to those who continue treatment.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common rheumatologic condition in children, and 12- 38% of patients with JIA develop chronic asymptomatic anterior uveitis, typically within 4 to 7 years of arthritis onset. JIA-associated uveitis can cause significant morbidity, with as many as 1/3 of all patients developing substantial visual impairment and up to 15% becoming legally blind. The anti-TNF-α human monoclonal antibody adalimumab has shown efficacy in treating JIA- associated uveitis, but is associated with a risk of serious adverse events, including opportunistic infections and malignancy. Furthermore, long-term treatment with adalimumab is expensive and causes significant financial burden for the patient and healthcare system. However, stopping adalimumab may come with risks of its own; it has been shown that stopping and restarting anti- TNF-α therapy in patients with other autoimmune diseases is associated with reduced responsiveness to the drug. Collectively, these reasons contribute to a growing interest in developing evidence-based guidelines for stopping adalimumab treatment once control of inflammation has been achieved. We propose a multicenter, double-masked, randomized controlled trial to address clinically relevant questions about stopping adalimumab in patients with controlled JIA-associated uveitis. In patients with controlled JIA-associated uveitis, we will compare rate of recurrence and time to recurrence of ocular inflammation in patients randomized to discontinue adalimumab compared to those who continue treatment (Aim 1). We will also evaluate key predictors of JIA-associated uveitis recurrence by assessing clinical characteristics and potential biomarkers associated with recurrence of uveitis (Aim 2). Finally, we will determine if stopping adalimumab leads to overall less control of inflammation at the 6 and 12-month visits, even if patients restart adalimumab after a uveitis recurrence (Aim 3). By following patients from randomization to potential relapse and re- treatment, we can better understand the consequences of stopping and restarting adalimumab. With the increasing use of TNF-α inhibitors, understanding the risks and benefits of stopping adalimumab in patients with controlled JIA-associated uveitis is important to inform clinical practice for management of these patients. This study could also identify predictors of relapse and drug response that would be useful in making evidence-based treatment decisions.