Biomolecular Cytokine Therapy


National Institute of Pharmacy, Budapest, Hungary


As for the chronicity of inflammatory-immune diseases, the medication of them needs to be longterm and thus, quite safe with respect to side effects due to drug actions. Therapy of these diseases includes steroid and non steroid anti-inflammatories given in monotherapy or in combination with cytotoxic antimetabolites. Longterm administration of these active substances cumulate in side effects, not to speak of the probability of developing unresponsiveness to the drug in use. In principle, the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome of medication in therapy. In harmony with this principle, biopharmacology focuses on specific targets in early (acute) phase of inflammatory-immune diseases. One of these targets is the proinflammatory cascade of cytokines (IL1beta, IL6, IL8, IL12, TNFalpha). Among them, the overproduction of tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) is suggested to orchestrate and escalate the disease phenotype. Hence, targeting of TNFa may restrict or stop the propagation of pathological reactions. TNFalpha in its excess can be captured at transcription, translation, secretion levels as well as in the extracellular soluble form. This latter approach is supported by clinical records emphasizing the use of recombinant antibodies and soluble receptors in trapping extra amounts of TNFalpha. This review serves as an illustration for the efficacy and safety of infliximab (antibody) and etanercept (soluble receptor) in the example of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 9, Nr 1, 24-29, 2003

Key words: chronic inflammation; therapy; cytokines; infliximab; etanercept

Received: Feb 24, 2003; accepted: Mar 30, 2003
Correspondence: Márta BENCSÁTH, National Institute of Pharmacy, Zrínyi u. 3 Budapest 1051, Hungary; Tel: 36-1-3171488/197; E-mail:

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