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Philip Mease, MD: Guselkumab Addresses the Complexities of Treating Psoriatic Arthritis

With guselkumab, patients with active psoriatic arthritis achieved efficacy that was sustained through a 2 year clinical trial. Results show that the treatment offered continuous improvement across measures of health-related quality of life.

With the first-in-class drug guselkumab (Tremfya), patients living with active psoriatic arthritis achieved efficacy for joint and axial symptoms that was sustained through a 2 year clinical trial. Results show that the treatment offered continuous improvement across measures of health-related quality of life.

Investigator, Philip Mease, MD, Director of Rheumatology Research, Swedish Medical Center/Providence St. Joseph Health, and Clinical Professor, University of Washington, School of Medicine, explained that when the cumulative research concluded, not only did guselkumab provide durable efficacy across joint and axial symptoms, an established safety profile, but also improvements in fatigue, pain, and work productivity.

"Psoriatic arthritis is a complex disease with multiple dimensions to it, whether it's the arthritis or the enthesitis, or the skin disease, I liken it, when I'm talking with the patient, to an orchestra you're listening to," Mease said. "At times, every section in the orchestra is playing pretty small and then other times, it's just the piccolo section, or just the timpani that's playing, and so you've got to be attentive, when you're following up with patients, that each of these domains is being covered. And it appears that's the case with this drug."

He emphasized that overall, patients rank symptoms of pain and fatigue as the 2 most important factors when addressed in focus groups. Mease makes it a priority to question patients about their levels of fatigue, but many seem suprised, or tell him he's the first clinician to ask them that.

While he understands the reluctance that clinicians might have regarding these unquantifiable symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, he stated that fatigue is "a very important biological phenomenon."

"These patient-focused, or patient-centric issues, are really important for us to inquire about to see if our drugs are treating it," Mease said.