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Recently published studies confirm that the long-term use of biologicals targeting tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) in therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) gives rise to sustained improvement in symptoms and signs of disease provided the anti-TNF agent is efficacious and of low immunogenicity. The current regimens for infliximab 3 or 10 mg/kg infusion in combination with weekly oral methotrexate, or of etanercept 25 mg subcutaneously twice per week, appear to fulfill these criteria. D2E7, a "human" antibody produced by phage display, has also been used for over a year. It has recently emerged that anti-TNF therapy protects joints from structural damage. The 1-year data for infliximab and methotrexate combination therapy suggest that this regimen reduces disability. In early RA, etanercept acts more rapidly than methotrexate to decrease symptoms and retard the progression of erosions. In conclusion, for patients with established and early RA, anti-TNF therapies set a new standard for symptom control and joint protection.

Original publication

DOI

10.1097/00002281-200105000-00003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Current opinion in rheumatology

Publication Date

05/2001

Volume

13

Pages

164 - 169

Addresses

The Kennedy Institute Division, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK. peter.c.taylor@ic.ac.uk

Keywords

Humans, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Methotrexate, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Immunoglobulin G, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Recombinant Proteins, Antirheumatic Agents, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Treatment Outcome, Drug Therapy, Combination, Clinical Trials as Topic