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See detailAn algorithm recommendation for the management of knee osteoarthritis in Europe and internationally: A report from a task force of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO)
Bruyère, Olivier ULg; Cooper, C; Pelletier, JP et al

in Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism (in press)

Objectives: Existing practice guidelines for osteoarthritis (OA) analyze the evidence behind each proposed treatment but do not prioritize the interventions in a given sequence. The objective was to ... [more ▼]

Objectives: Existing practice guidelines for osteoarthritis (OA) analyze the evidence behind each proposed treatment but do not prioritize the interventions in a given sequence. The objective was to develop a treatment algorithm recommendation that is easier to interpret for the prescribing physician based on the available evidence and that is applicable in Europe and internationally. The knee was used as the model OA joint. Methods: ESCEO assembled a task force of 13 international experts (rheumatologists, clinical epidemiologists, and clinical scientists). Existing guidelines were reviewed; all interventions listed and recent evidence were retrieved using established databases. A first schematic flow chart with treatment prioritization was discussed in a 1-day meeting and shaped to the treatment algorithm. Fine-tuning occurred by electronic communication and three consultation rounds until consensus. Results: Basic principles consist of the need for a combined pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment with a core set of initial measures, including information access/education, weight loss if overweight, and an appropriate exercise program. Four multimodal steps are then established. Step 1 consists of background therapy, either non-pharmacological (referral to a physical therapist for re-alignment treatment if needed and sequential introduction of further physical interventions initially and at any time thereafter) or pharmacological. The latter consists of chronic Symptomatic Slow-Acting Drugs for OA (e.g., prescription glucosamine sulfate and/or chondroitin sulfate) with paracetamol at-need; topical NSAIDs are added in the still symptomatic patient. Step 2 consists of the advanced pharmacological management in the persistent symptomatic patient and is centered on the use of oral COX-2 selective or non-selective NSAIDs, chosen based on concomitant risk factors, with intra-articular corticosteroids or hyaluronate for further symptom relief if insufficient. In Step 3, the last pharmacological attempts before surgery are represented by weak opioids and other central analgesics. Finally, Step 4 consists of end-stage disease management and surgery, with classical opioids as a difficult-to-manage alternative when surgery is contraindicated. Conclusions: The proposed treatment algorithm may represent a new framework for the development of future guidelines for the management of OA, more easily accessible to physicians. © 2014 The Authors. [less ▲]

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See detailImportance of synovitis in osteoarthritis: Evidence for the use of glycosaminoglycans against synovial inflammation.
Henrotin, Yves ULg; Lambert, Cécile ULg; Richette, Pascal

in Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism (2014), 43(5), 579-87

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See detailHealth economics in the field of osteoarthritis: An Expert's consensus paper from the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis (ESCEO).
Hiligsmann, Mickaël ULg; Cooper, Cyrus; Arden, Nigel et al

in Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism (2013), 43(3), 303-313

OBJECTIVES: There is an important need to evaluate therapeutic approaches for osteoarthritis (OA) in terms of cost-effectiveness as well as efficacy. METHODS: The ESCEO expert working group met to discuss ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: There is an important need to evaluate therapeutic approaches for osteoarthritis (OA) in terms of cost-effectiveness as well as efficacy. METHODS: The ESCEO expert working group met to discuss the epidemiological and economic evidence that justifies the increasing concern of the impact of this disease and reviewed the current state-of-the-art in health economic studies in this field. RESULTS: OA is a debilitating disease; it is increasing in frequency and is associated with a substantial and growing burden on society, in terms of both burden of illness and cost of illness. Economic evaluations in this field are relatively rare, and those that do exist, show considerable heterogeneity of methodological approach (such as indicated population, comparator, decision context and perspective, time horizon, modeling and outcome measures used). This heterogeneity makes comparisons between studies problematic. CONCLUSIONS: Better adherence to guidelines for economic evaluations is needed. There was strong support for the definition of a reference case and for what might constitute "standard optimal care" in terms of best clinical practice, for the control arms of interventional studies. [less ▲]

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See detailRecommendations for the registration of agents to be used in the prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis: updated recommendations from the Group for the Respect of Ethics and Excellence in Science.
Abadie, Eric ULg; Devogelaer, Jean-Pierre; Ringe, Johann D. et al

in Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism (2005), 35(1), 1-4

OBJECTIVES: The Group for the Respect and Excellence in Science (GREES) has reviewed and updated their recommendations for clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of new chemical entities to ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The Group for the Respect and Excellence in Science (GREES) has reviewed and updated their recommendations for clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of new chemical entities to be used in the treatment and prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIOP). METHODS: Consensus discussion of the committee. RESULTS: With the exception of steroid use posttransplantation, there is no need to differentiate between underlying diseases. Prevention and treatment for GIOP are dependent on exposure to glucocorticoids rather than T-scores as in postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO). If fracture data are obtained for PMO, it need not be repeated for GIOP, relying instead on bone mineral density (BMD) trials of at least 1 year. GREES recommends several changes in the previous guidance for GIOP. The committee saw no need to repeat preclinical studies if those have been previously done to assure bone quality in PMO. Similarly, phase I and phase II trials, if careful dose selection has been done for PMO, should not be repeated. The "prevention" and "treatment" claims should remain. Since the most recent evidence suggests significant increase in fracture risk for daily doses of prednisone of 5 mg/day or equivalent, clinical trials should concentrate on patients receiving at least this daily dosage. The emergence of bisphosphonates as the reference treatment, together with the rapid bone loss and high fracture incidence in glucocorticoid users, necessitates recommending a noninferiority trial design with lumbar spine BMD as the primary endpoint after 1 year. CONCLUSIONS: Registration of new chemical entities to be used in the management of GIOP should be granted, based on a 1-year noninferiority trial, using BMD as primary outcome and alendronate or risedronate as comparator. Demonstration of antifracture efficacy should have been previously demonstrated in PMO. [less ▲]

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