Nisar M.K.,Rheumatology Clinical Research Unit |
Ostor A.J.K.,University of Cambridge
European Musculoskeletal Review | Year: 2011
Since the discovery that tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) plays a pivotal role in the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a revolution has occurred in the management of the condition. This has been spearheaded by the introduction of anti-TNF-α biological agents, leading to unprecedented improvements in multiple aspects of the disorder including signs and symptoms, radiographic damage, disability and quality of life. As a consequence we now consider disease remission a realistic goal. Over a decade of experience with these drugs has revealed that they are both effective and have an acceptable safety profile, although vigilance for side effects is mandatory. This article focuses on the current knowledge regarding TNF-α antagonists, including their efficacy and safety, and where the field is moving in order to optimise outcomes for this previously crippling disease. © TOUCH BRIEFINGS 2011.