What is the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors in the treatment of polymyositis?

Updated: Feb 12, 2018
  • Author: Mythili Seetharaman, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

The role of newer agents, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, remains unclear. Case reports describe successful use of the TNF inhibitor infliximab in refractory cases, but small clinical trials have yielded mixed results, with clinical flares occurring in some patients. [26, 27, 28, 29, 30]  In a randomized controlled trial with crossover, 4 of 12 patients with refractory dermatomyositis and polymyositis responded to infliximab at a dose of 5 or 7.5 mg/kg; infliximab was well tolerated. [31]  

A small trial of the TNF inhibitor etanercept provided encouraging results. [32]


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