How Do Home Infusions Stack Up?

One of the advantages of infusions in the office (or hospital) compared to home infusions and home injections is close communication by those giving the infusion with the physician.  In addition, with each infusion, in these settings offers an opportunity to review the patient’s progress and adjust the patients orders.  A recent study (Fenster M, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019;10.1016/cgh.2019.03.030.) indicates that these advantages may make infusions more successful than infusions given at home.

A summary is offered by Healio Gastroenterology: Home biologic infusions in IBD suffer from lack of monitoring

Researchers conducted a matched retrospective cohort study of patients treated with infliximab or vedolizumab with home infusion (n = 69) compared with hospital infusion at a large, tertiary care IBD center.  The primary endpoint was a composite of adverse outcomes, including stopping biologic therapy, IBD-related emergency department visit or IBD-related hospitalization.

  • “Patients on home infusion were more likely to experience adverse outcomes compared with control patients (43.5% vs. 21.7%; P = .006), and they also had a shorter time to adverse outcomes than patients who got hospital infusions.”
  • “Patients with home infusions trended toward stopping therapy within 1 year (20.3% vs. 8.7%; P = .053) and stopping therapy within the complete follow-up window (27.5% vs. 15.9%; P = .099) compared with controls.”
  • Patients with home infusions had “more emergency department visits (30.4% vs. 7.2%, P < .001), they did not have significantly more hospitalizations (17.4% vs. 11.6%).”

The authors noted that the “increase in adverse events might have been related to a reduced level of monitoring observed in home infusion patients. In the year following home infusion initiation or matching, patients who persisted on home infusions had significantly fewer IBD clinic visits (1.23 vs. 1.75; P = .018) compared with controls.”

My take (borrowed from a previous post): In my experience, office-based infusions can be provided safely and in a cost-effective manner.  While the convenience and potential cost-savings of home-based infusion are desirable, before implementing broadly, issues regarding communication, safety protocols, and documentation to allow modifications in therapy need to be proactively addressed. These issues could affect a patient’s long-term response to biologic therapy.

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Can Therapeutic Drug Monitoring with Monotherapy Achieve Similar Results as Combination Therapy for IBD?

A recent retrospective study (S Lega et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2019; 25: 134-41) suggests that proactive therapeutic drug monitoring (pTDM) with infliximab (IFX) helps achieve similar outcomes as combination therapy (with immunomodulator) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Before reviewing the key findings, it is important to emphasize a few crucial limitations/methods:

  • The study enrolled 83 patients; only 16 received were in the monotherapy pTDM group.
  • This was a retrospective study
  • The authors utilized TDM at week 10.  If the IFX level was <20 mcg/mL, the dose and frequency of infliximab were both adjusted. If the level was between 20 & 25, either the frequency was adjusted or no adjustment, and if the level was >25, then no adjustment in dosing was performed.

Key findings:

  • The frequency of infliximab discontinuation with mono therapy in those with pTDM was lower than in those with ‘standard of care’ TDM (P=0.04) but did not differ from patients receiving combination therapy
  • Overall 9 of the 83 patients (11%) discontinued IFX during the 1-year study

In the discussion, the authors suggest that week 14 TDM may be suboptimal as this is the first time patients have an 8-week interval.

My take: The jury is out with regard to whether pTDM can negate the need for combination therapy  –a prospective trial is needed; however, the idea of getting TDM a bit earlier is intriguing, particularly as it has been shown that a high percentage of pediatric patients are receiving an insufficient dose of infliximab (Is Standard Infliximab Dose Tool Low in Pediatrics?)

Key words: 10 weeks, therapeutic drug monitoring, infliximab, trough

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Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

View from Artist’s Drive, Death Valley

Management of Acute Severe Colitis

A recent review (KG Whatley, MJ Rosen. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2019; 25: 56-66) succinctly summarizes the contemporary medical management of acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC).

Figure 1 provides a useful initial checklist which includes the following:

  • PUCAI score
  • Labs/Imaging: CBC/d, CMP, CRP/ESR, Stool studies (culture/C diff), AXR
  • Pre-salvage labs: TB screen, Hep B serology, VZV serology if needing anit-TNF, TPMT if contemplating thiopurine, lipids if contemplating calcineurin inhibitor
  • Endoscopy: Consider Flex Sig (unsedated) with tissue for CMV PCR if not responding to 3 days of IV steroids
  • Thromboembolism prophylaxis: Low molecular weight heparin (adults, & high-risk pediatric patients), pneumatic compression (low-risk pediatric)
  • Nutrition plan
  • Corticosteroids: methylprednisolone 1-15. mg/kg (to max of 40-60 mg daily)

Each of these recommendations is discussed. For the flex sig recommendation, the authors note that a “full colonoscopy is not recommended due to risk of perforation.” With regard to CMV, the authors acknowledge the low quality of evidence to support antiviral treatment of CMV in this setting.  In addition, the authors suggest PCP prophylaxis in those who receive triple immunosuppression or in those receiving calcineurin inhibitors.

Figure 2 provides a handy algorithm for infliximab salvage therapy in the setting of ASUC:

  • If salvage therapy with infliximab is indicated (day 3-5 of IV steroids), the authors recommend 10 mg/kg dosing.  If there is no response after 3-5 days, repeat dosing is recommended.  If there is no response after an additional 3-5 days, colectomy is recommended.
  • If there is a response to infliximab, the algorithm recommends outpatient management. At time of the 3rd dose (week 5-6), the authors obtain an IFX level.  In those with a level <15, then dosing at 4 week maintenance is recommended; whereas in those 15 and above, every 8 week maintenance is recommended.

The authors discuss some potential emerging treatments. Recommendations from the authors with regard to surgery:

  • Most patients are best served with a subtotal colectomy/end ileostomy in preparation for future ileal pouch anal anastomosis
  • “Surgery should not be delayed to enhance nutrition or taper steroids.”

My take: This article summarizes current approaches with emphasis on not waiting a long time for salvage therapies and using early therapeutic drug monitoring to assist in dosing frequency.

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Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Death Valley

 

ESPGHAN Position Paper: Biosimilars in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A recent position paper from ESPGHAN/Porto Group:

Full text: Use of Biosimilars in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Updated Position Statement of the Pediatric IBD Porto Group of ESPGHAN. L de Riddler et al. JPGN 2019; 68: 144-53

Key points:

  • There are sufficient data (by extrapolation from different indications, adult data and limited pediatric data) to state that in children with IBD who are indicated for IFX treatment, CT-P13 is a safe and efficacious alternative to the originator IFX for
    induction, and maintenance, of remission. 97% agreement
  • A switch from the originator infliximab to CT-P13 may be considered in children with IBD in clinical remission, following at least 3 induction infusions. 84% agreement
  • Multiple switches (>1 switch) between biosimilars and reference drug or various biosimilars are not recommended in children with IBD, as data on interchangeability is limited and traceability of the drugs in case of loss of efficacy and/or safety signals may be compromised. 97% agreement
  • Physicians/institutions should keep records of brands and batch numbers of all biological medicines (including biosimilars) administered. 89% agreement

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Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

AntiTNF Therapy Associated with Reduced Surgical Resections

Full text: Increased prevalence of anti‐TNF therapy in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease is associated with a decline in surgical resections during childhood JJ Ashton et al. Alim Pham Ther 2019; https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.15094

From absract:

Design: All patients diagnosed with PIBD within Wessex from 1997 to 2017 were assessed. The prevalence of anti‐TNF‐therapy and yearly surgery rates (resection and perianal) during childhood (<18 years) were analysed

Results: Eight‐hundred‐and‐twenty‐five children were included (498 Crohn’s disease, 272 ulcerative colitis, 55 IBD‐unclassified), mean age at diagnosis 13.6 years (1.6‐17.6), 39.6% female. The prevalence of anti‐TNF‐treated patients increased from 5.1% to 27.1% (2007‐2017), P = 0.0001. Surgical resection‐rate fell (7.1%‐1.5%, P = 0.001), driven by a decrease in Crohn’s disease resections (8.9%‐2.3%, P = 0.001)…

Patients started on anti‐TNF‐therapy less than 3 years post‐diagnosis (11.6%) vs later (28.6%) had a reduction in resections, P = 0.047. Anti‐TNF‐therapy prevalence was the only significant predictor of resection‐rate using multivariate regression (P = 0.011).

Conclusion: The prevalence of anti‐TNF‐therapy increased significantly, alongside a decrease in surgical resection‐rate. Patients diagnosed at younger ages still underwent surgery during childhood. Anti‐TNF‐therapy may reduce the need for surgical intervention in childhood, thereby influencing the natural history of PIBD.

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Big Biosimilar Study

Briefly noted: A Meyer et al. Ann Intern Med. 2018. DOI: 10.7326/M18-1512

Abstract link: Effectiveness and Safety of Reference Infliximab and Biosimilar in Crohn Disease: A French Equivalence Study

In this study with 5050 patients, based on review of an administration database, the authors found the following:

  • In multivariable analysis of the primary outcome, CT-P13 (biosimilar) was equivalent to infliximab reference product (RP) (HR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.85 to 0.99]). 1147 patients in the RP group and 952 patients in the CT-P13 group met the composite end point (including 838 and 719 hospitalizations, respectively).
  • No differences in safety outcomes were observed between the 2 groups: serious infections (HR, 0.82 [CI, 0.61 to 1.11]), tuberculosis (HR, 1.10 [CI, 0.36 to 3.34]), and solid or hematologic cancer (HR, 0.66 [CI, 0.33 to 1.32]).

The authors conclude that “real-world data indicates that the effectiveness of CT-P13 is equivalent to that of RP for infliximab-naive patients with CD.”

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