Treatment
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What does ACR20 mean

ACR20

 

Have you ever thought about what the numbers mean when they say 50%ACR20 at 6 months? This simply says 50% of the group had a 20% response at 6 months. It means half improved by 20%.                                                                                                                                                  The ACR improvement criteria includes ACR20, ACR50 and ACR70. Meaning, 20%, 50% and 70% improvement. Easily enough to understand.

I was reviewing a research paper on Orencia. I will be having my 8th infusion on Thursday. I was wondering if it was being effective enough and if I should keep taking it.

The article had a chart for clinical responses in controlled trials. I reviewed the column that said inadequate response to methotrexate (The reason for being on Orencia; I think my methotrexate response is 50%, but it is not enough for me.)

A response of ACR20

3  months 62%

6  months 68%

12 months 73%

 

This means that at 3 months 62% of the patients had a 20% improvement

This means that at 6 months 68% of the patients had a 20% improvement.

This means that at 12 months 73% of the patients had a 20% improvement.

Is a twenty percent improvement enough for you. If you are really bad, twenty percent might ease your symptoms enough to make them bearable.

 

Let’s look at the ACR50 response

3 months 32%

6 months 40%

12 months 48%

This means that at 3 months 32% of the patients had a 50% improvement.

This means that at 6 months 40% of the patients had a 50% improvement.

This means that at 12 months 48% of the patients had a 50% improvement.

Also notice that more people improved as time passed. So if you have not improved enough, maybe time and infusions might help you reach a point of comfort.

Let’s look at ACR70

3 months 13%

6 months 20%

12 months 29%

This means that at 3 months 13% of the patients had a 70% improvement.

This means that at 6 months 20% of the patients had a 70% improvement.

This means that at 12 months 29% of the patients had a 70% improvement.

 

The best of the scoring was a ACR70 of 14% for 6 months. This means that 14% of the patients were able to sustain a 70% improvement for 6 months.

When I understood this, I understood that Orencia is not a cure by any means. I did understand that it was helping me an additional 25% to my 50% methotrexate help. My life has improved. Still I have symptoms, but I am functioning better than I was.

So your decision includes determining where on the scale of improvement you are and is it helping you enough to make the infusions worthwhile.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: RA, Biologic Medication and the numbers | Mary's Arthritis

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