Rituximab (MabThera®) – a new biological medicine in rheumatoid arthritis therapy


Authors: P. Němec
Authors‘ workplace: Revmatologická ambulance II. interní kliniky Lékařské fakulty MU a FN u sv. Anny Brno, přednosta doc. MUDr. Miroslav Souček, CSc.
Published in: Vnitř Lék 2007; 53(11): 1199-1210
Category: Reviews

Overview

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a serious, chronic, inflammatory disorder that damages the joints. The chronic destructive process causes pain to patients with RA and leads to the development of permanent disability. At present, great emphasis is placed on timely and effective therapy for RA, which is able to halt or slow the development of the disorder. At present we do not have any means of curing RA, the main objective for treatment is to induce remission of the disorder and prevent structural damage to the joints and the development of permanent disability. The relatively frequent failure of disease modifying medications (DMARDs) lead to efforts to find new resources for the treatment of RA. So called biological medicines were recently introduced into therapeutic use. These were mainly TNFα blockers. Experience has shown that approximately a third of patients with RA do not respond even to treatment with such medicines. Rituximab (MabThera®), a monoclonal antibody against CD20 positive B-lymphocytes, is a new biological medicine approved for RA therapy. It represents a new hope for patients with active RA, for whom earlier therapy with TNFα blockers has failed.

Key words:
rheumatoid arthritis – rituximab – therapies


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