[Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by inhibition of tumor necrosis factor with infliximab or etanercept]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 145, 39, (2001), pp. 1880-5
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectChronic arthritis: Pathogenesis and treatment; Chronische arthritis: Pathogenese en behandeling
The current pharmacotherapy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) consists of non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as sulphasalazine, leflunomide and methotrexate. DMARDs can be given as monotherapy or in combination. However, not all patients show an adequate response due to toxicity or lack of efficacy. From animal studies and clinical studies in patients with RA, we know that tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is directly involved in the pathogenesis of RA. Two forms of TNF inhibition therapy have been extensively investigated in RA: anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies (infliximab) and TNF receptor-Fc fusion protein (etanercept). Both types of TNF inhibition induce a rapid improvement in multiple clinical measures of disease activity and patient functional status. Furthermore, a beneficial effect was demonstrated on radiographic progression of joint damage. Etanercept and the combination infliximab-methotrexate are generally well tolerated.
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