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Revista Medica Herediana

Print version ISSN 1018-130X


UGARTE-GIL, Manuel F; ACEVEDO-VASQUEZ, Eduardo M  and  ALARCON, Graciela S. Biologic therapies in rheumatic diseases. Rev Med Hered [online]. 2013, vol.24, n.2, pp.141-155. ISSN 1018-130X.

The advent of biologic therapies in Rheumatology has modified significantly the prognosis of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), juvenile arthritis (JA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), among others. In contrast to the conventional therapies, these biological therapies are directed at specific targets being those a cell line, an inflammatory mediator, or a surface receptor. These compounds are produced by live cells using recombinant DNA technology. They can have human and animal components [chimerics (Xi), humanized (Zu)] or be completely human (H); this is recognized by the letters included in their names. The first compound used in Rheumatology was etanercept (anti-tumor necrosis factor) which was approved by the FDA in 1998; however other anti-TNF compounds have proven to be beneficial in RA as well as in AS and JA. The interleukin-1 (IL-1) inhibitors are rarely used in RA at the present time, but IL-6 inhibitors and agents directed against CTLA-4 (Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen) are. There is also a compound against BLyS (B-lymphocyte stimulator) which is used in systemic lupus erythematosus and other directed at RANKL (receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand) which is used in osteoporosis. With the advances made in the understanding of the pathogenesis of the rheumatic diseases, new therapeutic targets are being recognized. In the years to come this field will expand in geometric proportions.

Keywords : Rheumatoid arthritis; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis; systemic lupus erythematosus.

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