Beyond conventional DMARDs: extending TNF-regulant therapies to the vast majority/less privileged who do need them
This article is a plea to find (better) ways to extend the benefits of anti-cytokine therapies to ensure they will become available as widely as possible. Pessimistically, this will probably involve substituting more affordable, although somewhat less specific, non-biological agents for present target-specific bio-DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) to ensure far wider distribution of benefits. Optimistically, new developments in technology and bio-engineering might dramatically reduce costs of present 'biological' therapies. (The antibiotics we now take for granted were once also horrendously expensive.). Pragmatically, one goal for this mission should include seriously pursuing more research and pilot clinical trials of non-protein combination therapies able to control: (i) TNF or other pro-inflammatory cytokines; and also (ii) other mediators sustaining chronic inflammation (?pain, effusion, fibrosis, porosis, etc.). This can be immediately facilitated by drawing upon the immense resources of non-prescription Asia-Pacific traditional therapies - particularly when these have already been shown to either reduce TNF synthesis or control TNF-induced responses in preclinical studies. Could this be a major goal for the next decade, helping rectify some of the omissions of the current Bone & Joint Decade 2000-2010?
International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified