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J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Aug;7(8):757-61.

Evaluating the tolerability and efficacy of etanercept compared to triamcinolone acetonide for the intralesional treatment of keloids.

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University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Miami, FL 33136, USA.



Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) is a proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokine that inhibits degradation of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Etanercept, a recombinant TNF-alpha receptor fusion protein, may decrease excessive fibrous tissue in keloids.


To evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of etanercept as compared to triamcinolone acetonide (TAC) for the treatment of keloids.


Twenty subjects were randomly assigned to receive monthly intralesional injections of either 25 mg of etanercept or 20 mg of TAC for 2 months. Keloids were evaluated at baseline, week 4, and week 8 by subjects and investigators in a blinded fashion using physical, clinical, and cosmetic parameters. Photographs were taken and adverse events were noted during each evaluation.


Etanercept improved 5/12 parameters including significant pruritus reduction, while TAC improved 11/12 parameters at week 8, although no statistical difference was observed as compared to baseline. There was no significant difference between the 2 treatment groups. Both treatments were safe and well tolerated.


Etanercept was safe, well tolerated, improved several keloid parameters, and reduced pruritus to a greater degree than TAC therapy. However, further studies are required before it can be recommended for the treatment of keloids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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