Immunotargeting in the management of psoriasis
Benjamin H Kaffenberger,1 Thomas M Kaffenberger,2 Henry K Wong1
1College of Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA; 2German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
Abstract: The treatment of psoriasis has been revolutionized since the introduction of biologic therapies. Prior to their introduction, it was unclear if psoriasis was primarily a keratinocyte signaling dysfunction or an autoimmune T-cell mediated pathway. Nonspecific T-cell targeting treatments had been used with some success, but they were limited by a narrow therapeutic index. The nonspecific nature of these agents was fraught with side effects, and the efficacy of these treatments pales in comparison to current treatments. The initial biologic molecules, alefacept and efalizumab, were not specific for any T-cell driven pathway, and neither are currently available in the USA. The successors to these early therapies have shown high efficacy and low side effects in psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases through the specific targeting of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Since the initial use of antitumor necrosis factor agents, a renaissance in our understanding of psoriasis has been underway, leading to the elucidation of the T-helper 17 (Th17) from the Th1 pathway. With each new treatment, the pathogenesis for psoriasis continues to be more defined, allowing for improved targeted therapies and the ability to achieve new milestones in efficacy.
Keywords: psoriasis vulgaris, pathophysiology, immunology, T-cell signaling, biologic therapies, psoriasis treatment
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