lørdag den 27. april 2013

TNF-α, ME and theranostics

The article Natural killer cells in patients with severe chronic fatigue syndrome give us the information that severely affected CFS patients have an increased level of the cytokine TNF-α.

TNF-alpha is the "master regulator" of the inflammatory (immune) response in many organ systems.

Etanercept (trade name Enbrel) is used for treating autoimmune diseases by interfering with Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)  by acting as a TNF inhibitor.  Autoimmune diseases are caused by an overactive immune response. Etanercept has the potential to treat these diseases by inhibiting TNF-α.

The Norwegian researchers are going to use Etanercept in a clinical trial: Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Inhibition Using Etanercept in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Patients have indvidual reactions to drugs. And ME patients sometimes respond strongly to different drugs. A solution to this problem is personalized medicine.

Theranostics  is a proposed process of diagnostic therapy for individual patients - to test them for possible reaction to taking a new medication and to tailor a treatment for them based on the test results.

The Danish Professor Klaus Bendtzen has written this brilliant article in Discovery Medicine:
Personalized medicine: theranostics (therapeutics diagnostics) essential for rational use of tumor necrosis factor-α antagonists:
"All currently used TNF antagonists may dramatically lower disease activity and, in some patients, induce remission. Unfortunately, however, not all patients respond favorably, and safety can be severely impaired by immunogenicity, i.e. the ability of a drug to induce anti-drug antibodies (ADA). Assessment of ADA is therefore an important component of the evaluation of drug safety in both pre-clinical and clinical studies and in the process of developing less immunogenic and safer biopharmaceuticals."

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