Tocilizumab for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Author(s): Herlin T.
Affiliation(s): Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital Skejby,Aarhus N, Denmark.
Publication date & source: 2012, Expert Rev Clin Immunol. , 8(6):517-25
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common rheumatic disease in
childhood, resulting in short- and long-term disability. It includes a
heterogeneous group of diseases, of which systemic JIA is often resistant to
treatment. IL-6 plays a significant role in systemic JIA since it is elevated in
serum and correlates with disease activity, including joint involvement, acute
phase reactants and fever. Blocking the IL-6-induced signal could therefore be an
attractive treatment approach. The use of tocilizumab, a humanized anti-IL-6
receptor antibody, for the treatment of systemic JIA is described. The purpose
has been to review the controlled clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and
safety of tocilizumab for the treatment of systemic JIA. In two Phase III
randomized, double-blind controlled studies a rapid and high response rate has
been achieved both regarding systemic features and arthritis activity together
with a tolerable safety profile in children with systemic JIA refractory to