Hungarian Immunology

[TNF-α blocking therapy in rheumatoid arthritis]

TAMÁSI László

JANUARY 10, 2004

Hungarian Immunology - 2004;3(01)

[The research of pathomechanism of rheumatoid arthritis resulted in remarkable pragmatic results beyond the important theoretical knowledge. These observations led to the development of new effective agents, which were named as biological therapy and introduced in clinical praxis. The key factor of pathomechanism of rheumatoid arthritis is the proinflammatoric citokin TNF-α. It can be found on the top of the inflammation cascade where regulates many other inflammatory mediators and also plays an important role in the defence against infections and tumours. The author describes the TNF-α blocking agents used in clinical practice, their chemical and pharmacological feature, as well as their mode of action and the consequence of inhibition of TNF-α. He reviews the main results of the major clinical tests with infliximab, etanercet, and adalimumab. The results of these clinical studies demonstrate that the TNF-α blocking therapy gives clinical improvement in case of therapy resistant patients, decreases the number of swollen and tender joints, the pain, ESR and CRP, decreases the radiological progression, furthermore improves the quality of life. There are also some data about the favourable impacts observed during the early arthritis treatment. The TNF-α blocking therapy can be used effectively and safely in rheumatoid arthritis. In most cases the infusion reaction and the injection site reaction are not reasons for withdrawal from the study. The sideeffects, however, developed in increasing numbers during widespread applications. Among these the most important ones are the opportunist infection and the tuberculosis. In addition the sporadic occurrence of lupus-like symptoms, demyelinating disease, and aplastic anemia were reported. The fundamental requirements of the safety of the biological therapy are the professional indication and the careful monitoring during the treatment, the principle of which has been already prepared by the Professional College of the Rheumatology and Physiotherapy based on the international experience.]

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