Tumour Necrosis Factor-α Blockers in Rheumatoid Arthritis
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Richard-Miceli, C. & Dougados, M. BioDrugs (2001) 15: 251. doi:10.2165/00063030-200115040-00005
Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α has been found to play a central role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, leading to development of novel drug therapies that neutralise the deleterious effects of this cytokine. This new concept of immunobiological treatment of rheumatoid arthritis has yielded successful results. Although the 2 currently available TNFα blockers, infliximab and etanercept, differ in structure, mechanism of action and pharmacokinetics, they have provided similar benefits both in clinical improvement and in slowing and even arresting the progression of radiographic damage. This therapeutic response seems to be unequalled by ‘conventional’ treatments in rheumatoid arthritis, and is incontestably a turning point in the therapeutic management of this disease.