Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 178–185 | Cite as

Prospects of immunotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis

  • Bert A. 't Hart
  • Henny G. Otten


The main challenge in the development of new modalities for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is to enhance the specificity while reducing the adverse side-effects of therapeutics. Biotechnology provides a variety of reagents, such as monoclonal antibodies, recombinant cytokines, cytokine antagonists, and small peptides, with the potential to interfere with selected stages of the disease process in a highly specific manner. In addition, several new therapeutic approaches have emerged as a result of extensive research with animal models of disease, including T-cell vaccination and bone marrow transplantation. This article discusses current insights into the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases, focusing on rheumatoid arthritis. A number of new therapeutic modalities for rheumatoid arthritis, in particular those acting on the immune system, are discussed. Because it is not possible to provide a complete overview of all the developments in the field in limited space, a selection of strategies and modalities which are representative of the broad variety of immunotherapeutic approaches currently used are highlighted.


Antibodies, monoclonal Arthritis, rheumatoid Bone marrow transplantation Cytokines Immunotherapy Pathology Peptides Prognosis Vaccination 


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Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for the Advancement of Pharmacy 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bert A. 't Hart
    • 1
  • Henny G. Otten
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ImmunobiologyBiomedical Primate Research CentreGH RijswijkThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Immuno-HaematologyUniversity HospitalUtrechtThe Netherlands

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