Biological therapies enable us to apply highly selective targeting components to modulate the immune response. Until now, a few controlled studies investigated the efficacy of TNF-α blocking agents in systemic vasculitis have been carried out, but, in general, they were falling short of expectations. However, there is conducive evidence that TNF-α blockers are advantageous in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, at least in selected disease stages. Likewise, although the efficacy of the monoclonal CD20 antibody rituximab in ANCA-associated vasculitis is obvious, the effect on predominantly granulomatous disease activity in Wegener's granulomatosis is less clear. In addition, interferon-α is used for induction treatment particularly in Churg-Strauss syndrome. Even though the effectiveness and safety of short-term administration was confirmed by case series, severe side effects after long-term treatment relativized the initial results. This review presents the recent data on the use of biologicals in vasculitis and appraises the knowledge in the clinical context.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)