Four randomized controlled clinical trials support the efficacy of a TNF inhibitor for disc-related pain

November 4, 2013:

U.S. patent 6,419,944 (inventor Edward Tobinick M.D., filed April 5, 2001) contained the first clinical report of rapid improvement in disc-related pain following the administration of perispinal etanercept. Now, more than a decade later, there are four favorable clinical trials that provide randomized, controlled trial (RCT) data supporting the efficacy of etanercept for treating disc-related pain. In 2013, data from two of these RCTs have been presented: the Nov 1 study by Freeman published in Spine; and the study conducted at Chiba University in Japan(Sainoh, T., et al., Intradiscal Administration of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Inhibitor, Etanercept, Clinically Improves Intractable Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Prospective Randomized Study, in International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine 40th Annual Meeting, May 2013). In 2012 the RCT by Ohtori reported positive etanercept data (Ohtori, S., et al., Epidural administration of spinal nerves with the tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitor, etanercept, compared with dexamethasone for treatment of sciatica in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis: a prospective randomized study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2012. 37(6): p. 439-44). In 2009 the RCT performed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center provided favorable efficacy and human and animal safety data (Cohen, S.P., et al., Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-response, and preclinical safety study of transforaminal epidural etanercept for the treatment of sciatica. Anesthesiology, 2009. 110(5): p. 1116-26).