Corticosteroid-free treatment of tocilizumab monotherapy for microscopic polyangiitis: a single-arm, single-center, clinical trial

Ryota Sakai, Tsuneo Kondo, Jun Kikuchi, Akiko Shibata, Kentaro Chino, Ayumi Okuyama, Hirofumi Takei, Koichi Amano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess the efficacy of tocilizumab (TCZ) monotherapy for the remission induction of microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) in a prospective single-arm, single-center, cohort, pilot study. Methods: Eligible patients were aged between 20 and 80 years and were newly diagnosed with MPA according to Watts’ classification algorithm. Seven patients received 8 mg/kg of intravenous TCZ fortnightly for the first 2 months (5 courses), and monthly for the next 10 months (10 courses). One year after TCZ monotherapy, the patients were followed-up without any treatment. The protocol did not permit the use corticosteroids or any other immunosuppressants. Complete remission (CR) was defined as the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score of 0 at two consecutive visits made at least a month apart. Results: CR was achieved in two of six patients (33.3%) at 6 months and three patients (50.0%) at 12 months. Two patients were withdrawn: one because of inefficacy at 6 weeks and the other because of flare at 6 months. One patient voluntarily withdrew after CR at 3 months. Four patients (66.7%) could be kept drug-free after 1 year of TCZ without relapse for 6–15 months at the last visit. Conclusion: TCZ monotherapy may be an alternative treatment strategy in some patients with MPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalModern Rheumatology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016 Apr 6
Externally publishedYes



  • Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
  • Microscopic polyangiitis
  • Tocilizumab
  • Vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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