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The safety of etanercept for the treatment of plaque psoriasis

Authors Kim A Papp

Published 15 May 2007 Volume 2007:3(2) Pages 245—258

Kim A Papp

University of Western Ontario, and K Papp Clinical Research, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Abstract: Effective treatment with etanercept results from a congregation of immunological signaling and modulating roles played by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a pervasive member of the TNF super-family of cytokines participating in numerous immunologic and metabolic functions. Macrophages, lymphocytes and other cells produce TNF as part of the deregulated immune response resulting in psoriasis or other chronic inflammatory disorders. Tumor necrosis factor is also produced by macrophages and lymphocytes responding to foreign antigens as a primary response to potential infection. Interference with cytokine signaling by etanercept yields therapeutic response. At the same time, interference with cytokine signaling by etanercept exposes patients to potential adverse events. While the efficacy of etanercept for the treatment of psoriasis is evident, the risks of treatment continue to be defined. Of the potential serious adverse events, response to infection is the best characterized in terms of physiology, incidence, and management. Rare but serious events: activation of latent tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, lymphoma, and others, have been observed but have questionable or yet to be defined association with therapeutic uses of etanercept. The safe use of etanercept for the treatment of psoriasis requires an appreciation of potential adverse events as well as screening and monitoring strategies designed to manage patient risk

Keywords: etanercept, psoriasis, demyelination, tumor necrosis factor, lymphoma, tuberculosis, infection, safety

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