Retreatment in patients with psoriasis achieving response with etanercept after relapse due to treatment interruption: results from the CRYSTEL study


  • Conflicts of Interest

    • C.E.M. Griffiths has received grant/research support from Abbott, Actelion, Biotest, Celgene, Incyte, Janssen, Leo, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and Stiefel UK (a GSK company). T. Luger has been a consultant on advisory boards for Pfizer Inc. Y. Brault, J.M Germain and L Mallbris are employees of Pfizer Inc.
  • Funding sources

    • This study was sponsored by Pfizer Inc. Medical writing/editorial support was provided by Kim Brown of Engage Scientific Solutions and was funded by Pfizer Inc.



In clinical practice, patients with psoriasis may require intermittent therapy as part of their long-term treatment programme. Those achieving Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) of ≤ 1 (almost clear/clear) are more likely to be selected as candidates for intermittent therapy than those with a higher PGA (≥ 2; mild or worse), who may relapse sooner or have a delayed response. The objective of this analysis was to determine if patients achieving PGA ≤ 1 using intermittent etanercept (ETN) therapy could regain response (defined as PGA ≤ 2) after relapse.


In the CRYSTEL study ( NCT00195507), patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis were treated with ETN 50 mg twice weekly (BIW) for ≤ 12 weeks (or for an extra 12 weeks with ETN 25 mg BIW until PGA ≤ 2 was achieved). Patients who reached PGA ≤ 1 during this time were selected for this post hoc analysis (Cycle 1). Treatment was paused, and patients who relapsed (PGA > 2) were retreated with ETN 25 mg BIW until recovery (PGA ≤ 2, Cycle 2). Treatment cycles were continued for up to 54 weeks. The proportion of PGA responders and the time to attain response were calculated, and patient satisfaction was evaluated using the Patient Satisfaction Survey.


During Cycle 1, 131 patients achieved PGA ≤ 1 within a median of 9 weeks and subsequently relapsed after treatment cessation. In Cycle 2, 119 (91%) patients attained PGA ≤ 2 within a median time of 7 weeks. The majority of patients were either ‘very satisfied’, ‘satisfied’ or ‘somewhat satisfied’ during both Cycle 1 (100% in total) and Cycle 2 (97% in total).


Patients achieving the stringent criteria of PGA ≤ 1 with ETN therapy before ceasing treatment, and subsequently relapsing, were able to quickly regain response during retreatment. The majority of patients considered their therapy to be satisfactory.