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Long-term treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with adalimumab

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Giuseppe Murdaca, Francesca Spanò, Francesco PuppoDepartment of Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology Unit, University of Genoa, Genoa, ItalyAbstract: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that is associated with joint damage and progressive disability, an increased risk of morbidity related to comorbid conditions and substantial socioeconomic costs. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is a proinflammatory cytokine known to have a central role in the initial host response to infection and in the pathogenesis of various immune-mediated diseases, such as RA, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Five TNF-α inhibitors are available for the clinical use: infliximab; adalimumab; etanercept; golimumab; and certolizumab pegol. Infliximab is a chimeric human/murine IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb); adalimumab, and golimumab are human mAbs; certolizumab pegol is composed of the fragment antigen-binding anti-binding domain of a humanized anti-TNF-α mAb, combined with polyethylene glycol to increase its half-life in the body; etanercept is a fusion protein that acts as a “decoy receptor” for TNF-α. In this paper, we will briefly review the current data on efficacy and safety of adalimumab in patients with RA, its potential beneficial effects upon comorbid conditions, such as endothelial dysfunction and accelerated atherosclerosis in RA, and the immunogenicity.Keywords: adalimumab, efficacy, safety, rheumatoid arthritis, VEGF, immunogenicity, infections

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