Update on biologic therapies in ankylosing spondylitis: a literature review


Correspondence: Dr Leslie Goh, Department of Rheumatology, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Somerset TA1 5DA, UK.

Email: Lesliegohs2000@yahoo.com



The present paper aims to review the recent advances in diagnosis and management of ankylosing spondylitis (AS).


Medline and abstracts submitted to the recent European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) congress were searched to obtain quality-controlled information on the management of AS.


The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows the diagnosis of AS to be made in the pre-radiographic stage. The Assessment in Spondylarthritis International Society recommendations for the management of AS have been modified so that patients with non-radiographic spondyloarthritis (SpA) can now be considered for biological therapy. The ‘older’ anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) continued to be effective in longer-term studies. Studies with longer duration of follow-up have shown that some patients with pre-radiographic SpA entered into prolonged drug-free remission. It is likely that in the foreseeable future, more AS patients will be treated with biological therapies at an earlier stage of the disease. New biologic therapies, golimumab and secukinumab, are looking promising in improving the signs and symptoms of AS, at least in the short-term.


Longer-term studies of AS patients treated with infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab continued to show a good clinical response. There is a need for more long-term studies to examine the longitudinal efficacy of golimumab and secukinumab in AS.