Targeting of Interleukin-6 for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Review and UpdateToshio Tanaka1,2*, Atsushi Ogata2,3 and Tadamitsu Kishimoto4
- *Corresponding Author:
- Toshio Tanaka
Department of Clinical Application of Biologics
Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine
2-2 Yamada-oka, Suita City, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: April 18, 2013; Accepted Date: June 05, 2013; Published Date: June 17, 2013
Citation: Tanaka T, Ogata A, Kishimoto T (2013) Targeting of Interleukin-6 for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Review and Update. Rheumatol Curr Res S4:002. doi: 10.4172/2161-1149.S4-002
Copyright: © 2013 Tanaka T, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease, characterized by persistent joint inflammation, systemic inflammation and immunological abnormalities. Since IL-6 plays a major role in the development of these characteristics, its targeting could reasonably be expected to constitute a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of RA. Tocilizumab, a humanized anti-human IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, has demonstrated its outstanding clinical efficacy and tolerable safety profile in phase III clinical trials for RA patients, resulting in its worldwide approval for moderate-to-severe active RA. Post-marketing clinical trials have confirmed its efficacy. This success led to the development of various other IL-6 inhibitors. Further clinical studies including head-to-head comparative studies, and clarification of the mechanisms through which tocilizumab exerts its clinical effects can be expected to identify RA patients who should be treated with tocilizumab as a first-line biologic. In addition, recent case reports and pilot studies indicate that therapies targeting IL-6 will be widely applicable to the treatment of various intractable immune-mediated diseases.