Anti-IgE and other antibody targets in asthma.
Asthma is a heterogeneous disorder of unknown etiology that manifests as recurrent episodes of coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness. These symptoms are often debilitating and exacerbations usually are unexpected, resulting in work or school absences, limitations in activity, reduced quality of life, and personal and economic hardships. Over the past several decades, a great deal has been learned about asthma pathophysiology, and currently available therapies have revolutionized asthma treatment. However, asthma remains a global public health problem, and the hope is that newer therapies targeting specific biological mediators of asthma, particularly antibody-mediated therapies, offer exciting new modes to the control of this disease. We will review some of these therapies, with the majority of attention devoted to anti-IgE therapy which has been approved for treatment of adult and childhood asthma by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2003.
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