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Mod Rheumatol. 2012 Jun;22(3):319-26. doi: 10.1007/s10165-011-0548-y. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

The role of biologics in treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis.

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Department of Rheumatology, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Heath Road, Ipswich, IP4 5PD, UK.


The vast majority of patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) who receive conventional treatment with glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamide experience frequent relapses and treatment-related side-effects. Increasing knowledge of the pathogenesis of AAV has permitted the development of targeted therapies against tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and T and B lymphocytes. Therapy with TNF-α blocking drugs has so far proved disappointing, and this approach is not recommended. B cell depletion using rituximab is effective for remission induction, especially in refractory patients. The long-term side-effects and the best method of using rituximab to maintain remission are still to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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