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Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Dec;112(3):774-86. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Targeting BAFF: immunomodulation for autoimmune diseases and lymphomas.

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  • 1The Immunology and Inflammation Research Program, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, 384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia.


In an effort to develop more effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, immunologists have targeted numerous molecular pathways, but with limited success. Notable exceptions are anti-TNF agents, which have proved efficacious in a proportion of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Another TNF family member, termed BAFF ("B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family"), plays a central role in autoimmune diseases, as well as in B cell maturation, survival, and T cell activation. Agents that block BAFF have proven to be highly effective in the treatment of certain autoimmune conditions in mice. In addition, phase II data in human clinical trials for RA appear very promising. BAFF is also a survival factor for certain B cell lymphomas. Despite the relatively recent identification of BAFF, this molecule has provided considerable new insight into B cell homeostasis and immune function, and represents an important new molecular target for treatment of autoimmune diseases and lymphomas.

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