Cytokine inhibitors in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Williams RO., Paleolog E., Feldmann M.
The clinical success of TNFalpha blocking biologics in a growing number of immune-mediated pathologies, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis, confirms the importance of TNFalpha in driving chronic inflammation and represents an important step forward in the treatment of these conditions. TNFalpha blockade, however, is a treatment, rather than a cure, and is not effective in all patients or in all autoimmune diseases and further research is needed to get closer to a cure. Recently, the identification of a novel, IL-17 producing, T helper cell subset, that plays a dominant pathogenic role in animal models of autoimmunity, is a major advance on existing knowledge, although the role of these cells in human disease remains to be established. Cytokines driving angiogenesis are also important in disease chronicity and thus might be valid therapeutic targets.