Anti-IL-17 therapy in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Sumit Kunwar, Khagendra Dahal, Sharan Sharma

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65 Scopus citations


IL-17 has a role in inflammation in RA, and its levels in joints correlate with disease severity. Multiple RCTs have been performed to study effects of anti-IL-17 agents. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to analyze the efficacy and safety of anti-IL-17 agents in the management of RA. This work is based on a systematic review of studies retrieved by a sensitive search strategy in PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane CENTRAL from inception through 9/7/15. Study selection criteria were the following: adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) with RAs, random selection of patients for anti-IL-17 therapy and treatment response compared to placebo. We performed systematic literature review per PRISMA guideline and two investigators independently selected seven randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for meta-analysis. We used random effect model calculating odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) to measure the efficacy with ACR20/50/70 responses and the safety with adverse events. Seven studies with total of 1226 patients including 905 in anti-IL-17 group and 321 in placebo were included in the meta-analysis. Anti-IL-17 was effective in achieving ACR20 and ACR50 compared to placebo (OR 2.47, 95 % CI 1.29–4.72, P = 0.006, I2 77 % and OR 2.94, 95 % CI 1.37–6.28, P = 0.005, I2 64 %, respectively). Data analysis for ACR70 showed a favorable trend toward anti-IL-17 (OR 2.62, 95 % CI 1–6.89, P = 0.05, I2 15 %). Subgroup analysis of ACR20 for individual anti-IL-17 agents showed that ixekizumab was more effective than placebo, while secukinumab showed a trend toward achieving the ACR20 response. However, brodalumab was not effective compared to placebo. Safety analysis did not show increased risk of any or serious adverse effects by anti-IL-17 compared to placebo (OR 1.23, 95 % CI 0.94–1.61, P = 0.13, I2 = 0 % and OR 1.28, 95 % CI 0.57–2.88, P = 0.55, I2 = 0 %, respectively). This meta-analysis concludes that anti-IL-17 is effective in the treatment of RA without increased risk of any or serious adverse effects; however, the results are limited by significant heterogeneity and small duration of studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1075
Number of pages11
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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