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Internist (Berl). 2013 Apr;54(4):449-61; quiz 462-3. doi: 10.1007/s00108-012-3202-7.

[Anticytokine therapy].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Medizinische Klinik mit Schwerpunkt für Rheumatologie und klinische Immunologie, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Mitte, Berlin.


Anticytokine therapies have revolutionized the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, particularly autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. As the first introduced principle of cytokine blockade in the 1990s, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α antagonists still represent the leading anticytokine therapy. There are currently five TNF antagonists available with indications in the fields of rheumatology, dermatology, and gastroenterology. Other therapeutic approaches have been introduced in the last 10 years, e.g., the blockade of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and IL-12/23. The advantages of cytokine blockers are their rapid onset of action with high response rates and a tolerable safety profile. Nevertheless, anticytokine therapy can cause increased rates of tuberculosis and hepatitis B infections or reactivation. An appropriate screening before therapy is mandatory, and thorough monitoring of the disease course before and during therapy is also important. The development of further anticytokine drugs for the induction and maintenance of remission is, therefore, required.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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