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Derm News: 2007.14(6)

Complications and Adverse Reactions in the Use of Newer Biologic Agents

Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine & Surgery, 26(1):6-14
Jeffrey P. Callen

New developments in genetic engineering and biotechnology have allowed the creation of bioengineered molecules that target specific steps in the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated disorders, including Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, pemphigus, and B-cell lymphoma.

These drugs work by eliminating pathogenic T cells (alefacept), blocking T-cell activation and/or inhibiting the trafficking of T cells (efalizumab), changing the immune profile from Th1 to Th2, blocking cytokines (eg, tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists including etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab, or interleukin-1-receptor antagonists [anakinra]), or eliminating pathogenic B cells (rituximab). This article reviews the complications and adverse reactions associated with these medications.

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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.