Conference Coverage

VIDEO: Researchers seek end to early corticosteroid use in AAV



SANDESTIN, FLA. – Clinicians have long wanted to avoid using corticosteroids in the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). They’re drawing closer to getting their wish, said Christian Pagnoux, MD, of the department of internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

The drugs have been a cornerstone in the treatments of these diseases – including granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) – for decades, but they come at the price of osteoporosis, cardiovascular comorbidities, diabetes, increased infection risk, and other problems.

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The emergence of newer therapies such as rituximab and complement C5a-blocker avacopan could mean less of a reliance on corticosteroids, Dr. Pagnoux said. The ongoing ADVOCATE trial is assessing the efficacy of avacopan with rituximab or cyclophosphamide, with or without a tapered dose of prednisone for the first 21 weeks.

“Whether we can use a lighter, briefer, shorter corticosteroid regimen for induction is really a burning question,” Dr. Pagnoux said. Avacopan “may totally replace corticosteroids in the very near future,” he said.

Another trial taking an intense look at winnowing corticosteroids from GPA and MPA treatment is the eagerly awaited PEXIVAS trial, an international effort of 700 patients that is the largest ever in AAV, Dr. Pagnoux said.

The primary endpoint in the trial is assessing plasma exchange versus no plasma exchange, but the use of corticosteroids is being assessed as well.

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