IL-6 blockade for Behçet’s disease: review on 31 anti-TNF naive and 45 anti-TNF experienced patients
A. Arida1, D. Saadoun2, P.P. Sfikakis3
- First Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, and Joint Academic Rheumatology Programme, National Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece. email@example.com
- Sorbonne Universités, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology, Centre de Référence des Maladies Auto-Immunes Systémiques Rares, Centre de Référence des Maladies Auto-Inflammatoires et de l’Amylose Inflammatoire, Paris; INSERM, UMR_S 959, Paris, and AP-HP, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.
- First Department of Propaedeutic Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, and Joint Academic Rheumatology Programme, National Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.
2022 Vol.40, N°8
PI 1575, PF 1583
Free to view
(click on article PDF icon to read the article)
PMID: 36106545 [PubMed]
Accepted : 28/07/2022
In Press: 15/09/2022
Despite the remarkable efficacy of anti-TNF agents in Behçet’s disease (BD), unmet therapeutic needs for refractory or intolerant patients to these drugs still exist. Based on evidence implicating IL-6 in the pathogenesis of BD, we summarise the current experience on the off-label administration of the anti-IL-6 receptor antibody tocilizumab for BD refractory to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.
We searched PubMed and EMBASE for original articles published through December 2021 reporting on the use of tocilizumab for BD.
We retrieved 25 articles fulfilling our search criteria, reporting on a total of 74 patients of whom 31 were anti- TNF naive; 2 additional anti-TNF experienced patients were included. The vast majority (72 of 76) received the standard intravenous dose of tocilizumab, whereas the total follow-up, including also post-treatment follow-up in many patients, ranged from 2 to 84 months without new safety issues. Tocilizumab was given in anti-TNF naive patients predominantly for vascular (n=16), central nervous system (n=7) and ocular involvement (n=5). On the other hand, anti-TNF experienced patients received tocilizumab predominantly for ocular (n=28), central nervous system (n=8) and mucocutaneous involvement (n=6). Tocilizumab was effective in 87% of anti-TNF naive (13 and 14 with complete and partial remission, respectively) and in 80% of anti-TNF experienced patients (17 and 19 with complete and partial remission, respectively).
Although preliminary, evidence published so far suggests that IL-6 inhibition is a legitimate therapeutic option for BD patients with refractory ocular, CNS and vascular involvement. Controlled studies are clearly needed.