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Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2011 Aug 2;7(9):507-16. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2011.106.

Biologic therapies in non-rheumatic diseases: lessons for rheumatologists?

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Institute of Cellular Medicine, Musculoskeletal Research Group, Newcastle University Medical School, UK.


Biologic therapies have been licensed to treat rheumatic diseases for more than a decade. In parallel, they have gained acceptance in a variety of non-rheumatic diseases, where their impact has been no less revolutionary. In this Review, we examine the application of biologics in a number of non-rheumatic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders-psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, uveitis, asthma, diabetes, congestive cardiac failure and multiple sclerosis. In particular, we have sought information, or lessons, that could influence their application in rheumatic diseases. For example, we highlight the potential to stratify asthma into groups that might require different targeted approaches, and focus on some of the less common adverse events associated with biologic therapies in multiple sclerosis. Similarly, we examine type 1 diabetes mellitus in the context of potential therapeutic induction of immune tolerance. Working collaboratively, across specialties, there is significant synergy to be gained in regard to understanding how biologic therapies work, how best to use them, and the adverse effects we should be conscious of.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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