Abatacept in difficult-to-treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Jasmin B Kuemmerle-Deschner1, SM Benseler2
1Pediatric Rheumatology Clinics, Dept of Pediatrics, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany; 2Dept of Pediatric Rheumatology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
Abstract: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic rheumatic disease in children and an important cause of short-term and long-term disability. Gene changes in the immune system can predispose to JIA and regulation of the immune system is crucial in the pathogenesis. The goal of therapy is complete disease control using disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS). Activated T-cells may play a role in the immunopathology of JIA. Therefore, targeting T-cell activation is a rational approach for the treatment of JIA. Abatacept (ABA), a selective co-stimulation modulator, has been shown to be effective in treating all JIA subtypes and is generally safe and well tolerated in JIA. Neutralizing antibodies were found in 6/9 (67%) of seropositive patients, but anti-ABA antibodies did not appear to be associated with disease flare, serious adverse events, acute infusional adverse events, hypersensitivity, autoimmune disorders, or low ABA serum concentrations. Anti-ABA antibodies were more frequent when ABA concentrations were below therapeutic levels. Although information on ABA in JIA is still limited, available data suggest a potential role in difficult to treat JIA patients previously treated with other biologic agents and for non-responders to TNF-blockade.
Keywords: abatacept, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), biologics
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