Tumor necrosis factor-alpha blockade: a novel therapy for rheumatic disease.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Overproduction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other chronic inflammatory diseases. In RA, excessive production of TNF-alpha can drive synovial inflammation and proliferation as well as degradation of articular cartilage and bone. The importance of TNF-alpha in these mechanisms is supported by the results of clinical trials. In these studies, treatment with etanercept and infliximab, two recently approved TNF-alpha inhibitors, has been shown to significantly decrease the signs and symptoms of joint inflammation and slow the progression of radiological joint damage. Although TNF-alpha inhibitors have had acceptable toxicity in clinical trials, commercial use of these agents has produced growing concerns about the potential risk for opportunistic infections, most notably the reactivation of latent tuberculosis. The TNF-alpha inhibitors stand as a powerful example of the therapeutic potential of a targeted biological agent. Longer-term clinical experience with these cytokine antagonists will illuminate their optimal use in RA and other rheumatic diseases.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shanahan, JC; St Clair, W

Published Date

  • June 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 103 / 3 Pt 1

Start / End Page

  • 231 - 242

PubMed ID

  • 12173297

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1521-6616

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1006/clim.2002.5191


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States