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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 October;142(5):567-91

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Biologics for the treatment of psoriasis. A systematic review

Philipp S. 1, 2, Morcinietz C. S. 2, Wallace L. 2, Sterry W. 1

1 Department of Dermatology and Allergy University Hospital Charité, Berlin, Germany 2 Interdisciplinary Group of Molecular Immunopathology Dermatology/Medical Immunology University Hospital Charité, Berlin, Germany


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Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory disease affecting the skin and joints. The prevalence rate in central Europe is about 2-3%. An estimated 1.6 million people in Germany and 1.2 million people in Italy suffer from psoriasis. About 20% of them require systemic treatment because of the severity of their disease. Different surveys and studies have demonstrated the high physical as well as psychological burden of the disease. Psoriasis is still not curable and most patients require long-term treatment to manage the disease. The classic systemic treatments show organ toxicities (e.g. skin toxicity, hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity) especially in the long run and are ineffective in some patients. The need for new therapies with the potential to fulfil the clinical needs (long-term safety and practicability) is great. Biotechnological methods and improved knowledge of the pathogenesis of psoriasis made it possible to design so called biologics. These are specially developed biologically engineered drugs that target molecules that could mediate key steps in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Currently, four Biologics are licensed in Europe for the treatment of psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis: etanercept (Enbrel®), infliximab (Remicade®), efalizumab (Raptiva®) and adalimumab (Humira®). Clinical trial results and the first clinical experiences show that they offer us new effective and relatively safe alternative treatments. The next years will bring us the awaited information about long time safety and efficacy. This review will give a structured overview about the current knowledge and experiences with the use of biologics for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriasis arthritis.

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