Tocilizumab for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis

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Article, Peer-reviewed

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the pharmacology, clinical efficacy, safety, and role of tocilizumab for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. DATA SOURCES: A literature search via MEDLINE through PubMed (1970-December 2011) and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1970-December 2011) was performed to identify clinical trials and review articles. The key search terms tocilizumab, anti-interleukin 6, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis were used, with several combinations of terms. Bibliographies of selected articles were examined to identify additional references, and ongoing trials were identified through a review of www.clinicaltrials.gov. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Articles were limited to those published in English and studies in humans. Studies included in the review examined pediatric data in systemic and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Background information was obtained through reviews of literature on a wide variety of autoimmune disease states in both adult and pediatric populations. DATA SYNTHESIS: Tocilizumab is Food and Drug Administration-approved for use in patients aged 2 years and older with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Tocilizumab was superior to placebo in triggering a symptomatic response during Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. Tocilizumab was determined to be safe, with only a small number of serious adverse drug events occurring within studies. CONCLUSIONS: Tocilizumab provides expansion of the available options for the treatment of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, specifically in patients who have not responded to conventional therapies. Tocilizumab is relatively well tolerated and has proven efficacy for up to 52 weeks. Further studies are warranted to determine its utility as a first-line option for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis as well as its role within the treatment of polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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