Small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are developed to block intracellular signaling pathways in tumor cells, leading to deregulation of key cell functions such as proliferation and differentiation. Over 25 years ago, tyrosine kinases were found to function as oncogenes in animal carcinogenesis; however, only recently TKIs were introduced as anti cancer drugs in human cancer treatment. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have numerous good qualities. First, in many tumor types they tend to stabilize tumor progression and may create a chronic disease state which is no longer immediately life threatening. Second, side effects are minimal when compared to conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Third, synergistic effects are seen in vitro when TKIs are combined with radiotherapy and/or conventional chemotherapeutic agents. In this article, we will give an update of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors that are currently registered for use or in an advanced stage of development, and we will discuss the future role of TKIs in the treatment of solid tumors. The following TKIs are reviewed: Imatinib (Gleevec/Glivec), Gefitinib (Iressa), Erlotinib (OSI-774, Tarceva), Lapatinib (GW-572016, Tykerb), Canertinib (CI-1033), Sunitinib (SU 11248, Sutent), Zactima (ZD6474), Vatalanib (PTK787/ZK 222584), Sorafenib (Bay 43-9006, Nexavar), and Leflunomide (SU101, Arava).
A total of 214 patients (mean age 57 years) were treated with leflunomide for >2 years; 74.8% of the patients were female. The mean disease duration was 4.1 years (range 0.1-26.6 years), and in 44% of patients, RA was first diagnosed within 2 years of entry into the phase III studies. The mean duration of leflunomide treatment was 4.6 years (range 2.8-5.8 years), and 32% of patients had received no previous treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. ACR20, ACR50, and ACR70 response rates and HAQ scores at 1 year were maintained through year 4 or until the end point. No new types of adverse events were observed, and liver function was normal at baseline and at the end point in the majority of patients.
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Between February and September 2009, 97 consecutive patients followed up at the University Hospital of the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, were enrolled. RA patients on MTX alone or using the LEF and MTX combination had their medical records systematically reviewed. The alanine/aspartate aminotransferase enzymes were retrospectively analyzed since the beginning of treatment with MTX or MTX plus LEF. Hepatotoxicity was defined as an increase of at least two-fold the upper limits of normal of the liver enzymes.
These data from routine rheumatology clinical practice settings highlight the effectiveness of common biologic and DMARD therapies, and provide additional data beyond those of randomized, controlled trials.
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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic multi-system disorder of unknown etiology with most common symptoms being persistent inflammatory synovitis, usually involving peripheral joints in a symmetrical pattern. Improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis has led to long awaited, highly effective treatments for this disorder.
Long-term allograft survival poses a major problem in pediatric renal transplantation, with allograft nephropathy being the principal cause of graft failure after the first post-transplant year. The mechanisms of nephron loss resulting in graft dysfunction are multiple, comprising both immunologic factors such as acute and chronic antibody- or T-cell-mediated rejection and non-immunologic components. The latter include peri-transplant injuries and renovascular lesions (renal artery stenosis, thrombosis) as well as cardiovascular risk factors such as arterial hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Another relevant issue leading to progressive nephron loss and declining kidney transplant function is acute and chronic nephrotoxicity induced by the calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) ciclosporin (cyclosporine microemulsion) and tacrolimus. Furthermore, the presence of an abnormal lower urinary tract as well as bacterial (recurrent pyelonephritis) and viral (cytomegalovirus [CMV], polyomavirus [BK virus; BKV]) infections are crucial factors involved in the incidence of chronic allograft dysfunction and graft failure. Renovascular lesions and lower urinary tract obstruction are typical indicators for surgical intervention. The aim of treatment in pediatric patients with renal failure secondary to a dysfunctional lower urinary tract is to create a sterile, continent, and nonrefluxive reservoir. Surgical techniques such as bladder augmentation and the introduction of intermittent catheterization and anticholinergic therapy have significantly improved graft outcome. Arterial hypertension, another factor responsible for graft function deterioration in pediatric renal transplant recipients, is controlled preferably by the use of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor antagonists, which are known to possess nephroprotective properties in addition to their potent antihypertensive effects. Although treatment of subclinical rejection with augmented immunosuppression has been associated with better graft survival, an increase of the immunosuppressive level to avoid subclinical rejection should be weighed against the risk of infection. The majority of viral infections affecting kidney allografts are caused by CMV and BKV. Antiviral CMV prophylaxis or pre-emptive therapy with ganciclovir has been shown to have beneficial effects in the pediatric renal transplant population. Treatment of BKV-induced nephropathy is based on reduction of the immunosuppressant therapy, although specific antiviral agents such as cidofovir and leflunomide are known to inhibit BKV. However, cidofovir itself is nephrotoxic and should therefore be administered cautiously to pediatric renal transplant patients. Since CNIs are likewise known for their nephrotoxic effects, especially with long-term use, alteration of the immunosuppressant regimen is necessary in case of deteriorating graft function due to CNI-induced histopathologic changes. Complete CNI avoidance seems inappropriate because, in this situation in pediatric renal transplant recipients, other relatively potent immunosuppressant agents such as lymphocyte-depleting antibodies, which are frequently accompanied by a higher incidence of infections, are needed for rejection prophylaxis. CNI withdrawal and switching of the immunosuppressant regimen from CNI therapy to sirolimus may be an option for some pediatric renal transplant patients with less advanced graft function deterioration. Nevertheless, potential adverse events such as aggravation of proteinuria, hyperlipidemia, myelosuppression, and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism have to be considered, and controlled studies are lacking. At present, an immunosuppressant maintenance therapy composed of low-dose tacrolimus or ciclosporin (CNI minimization) and mycophenolate mofetil with low-dose corticosteroids appears to be the most promising strategy to adopt in pediatric renal transplant recipients at low or normal immunologic risk.
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The active metabolite of the novel immunosuppressive agent leflunomide has been shown to inhibit the enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH). This enzyme catalyzes the fourth step in de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis. Self-organizing molecular field analysis (SOMFA), a simple three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) method is used to study the correlation between the molecular properties and the biological activities of a series of analogues of the active metabolite. The statistical results, cross-validated r(CV) (2) (0.664) and non cross-validated r(2) (0.687), show a good predictive ability. The final SOMFA model provides a better understanding of DHODH inhibitor-enzyme interactions, and may be useful for further modification and improvement of inhibitors of this important enzyme.
Two independent reviewers extracted data and assessed methodologic quality using standardized forms.
The literature search identified 32 articles for MTX, 12 for LEF (resulting in 34 case reports), 3 for gold, 1 for AZA, 4 for SSZ, 27 for TNFi (resulting in 31 case reports), 3 for RTX, 5 for TCZ (resulting in 8 case reports), and 1 for ABA. No case was found for HCQ or anakinra. Common points are noted between LEF- and TNFi-related ILD in RA: ILD is a rare severe adverse event, mostly occurs within the first 20 weeks after initiation of therapy, causes dyspnea mostly in older patients, and can be fatal. Although no definitive causative relationship can be drawn from case reports and observational studies, these data argue for a pulmonary follow-up in RA patients with pre-existing ILD, while receiving biologic therapy or nbDMARDs.
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The leflunomide analog, FK778, is a selective pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor. In rodent models, FK778 is efficacious in the prevention of allograft and xenograft rejection, and a combination of FK778 and cyclosporine has synergistic immunosuppressive efficacy.
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A retrospective medical record review was performed using a probabilistic sample of 1168 patients with SpA from 45 centers distributed in 15/19 regions in Spain. The sociodemographic and clinical features and the use of drugs were recorded following a standardized protocol. Logistic regression, with nbDMARDs prescriptions as the dependent variable, was used for bivariable analysis. A multilevel logistic regression model was used to study variability.
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Thirteen renal allograft recipients were diagnosed with biopsy-proven PVAN. Treatment consisted of lowering the calcineurin-inhibitor trough level, discontinuing mycophenolate mofetil therapy, and initiating leflunomide therapy. In 8 of the 13 patients, the serum concentration of the leflunomide active metabolite A771726 was monitored.
These data indicate that Th2 cytokines suppress MWCNT-induced inflammasome activation via STAT6-dependent down-regulation of pro-caspase-1 and suggest that suppression of inflammasome activation and IL-1β by an allergic lung microenvironment is a mechanism through which MWCNTs exacerbate allergen-induced airway fibrosis.
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Since 2003, a new viral disease of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) has been spreading in fields in the Jordan and Arava Valleys, Israel. The symptoms of this disease include mild leaf mottling and varying degrees of fruit distortion. This disease can be transmitted by mechanical sap inoculation, as well as by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) and has been tentatively named eggplant mild leaf mottle virus (EMLMV). Our study aimed to determine the complete sequence and genome organization of EMLMV. The extracted viral RNA was subjected to SOLiD next-generation sequence analysis and used as a template for reverse transcription synthesis, which was followed by ds-cDNA synthesis or PCR amplification. The ssRNA genome of EMLMV includes 9,280 nucleotides, excluding a 3' terminal poly-adenylated tail. The genome includes a putative single, large open reading frame (ORF) that encodes a polyprotein of 3,011 amino acids, a short overlapping ORF of PIPO protein comprised of 71 amino acids and 5' and 3' non-coding regions of 108 and 136 nucleotides, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence of the EMLMV polyprotein is relatively close to that of sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV), with 37% shared sequence identity. Among the four ipomoviruses, only SPMMV and the putative genus member EMLMV contain a helper component-proteinase (HC-Pro) gene. Like SPMMV-HC-Pro, EMLMV-HC-Pro also contains the highly conserved PTK domain that is thought to be involved in the aphid-assisted transmission of potyviruses.
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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic immune-mediated disease characterised by chronic synovitis, which leads to cartilage damage and joint destruction. It is generally a progressive disease with radiographic evidence of joint damage, functional status decline and premature mortality. Proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 and tumour necrosis factor alpha, play an important role in maintaining the chronicity of RA and mediating tissue damage. New approaches in the therapy of RA with anticytokine biological agents, which neutralise or block cytokines or their receptors, are now the first generation antirheumatic drugs in clinical practice. A better understanding of the signal transduction systems and gene regulation by transcription factors involved in cytokine production has opened the way for the discovery of novel therapeutic compounds useful in treating patients with RA. Overactivation of selective kinases or aberrant function of downstream transcription factors could help convert a normal immune response to a chronic disease state. This provides a unique opportunity for novel therapeutic interventions, since specific signal transduction or transcription factor targets might interrupt the perpetuation mechanisms in RA. The availability of potent and selective p38 mitogen activated protein kinase inhibitors provide a means in further dissecting the pathways implicated in cytokine production, which in turn maintain the chronicity of RA. Many studies conclude that these compounds are very useful in the treatment of chronic synovitis and therefore are very promising for RA treatment.
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Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a member of the Src-related Tec family of protein tyrosine kinases. Mutations in the btk gene have been linked to severe developmental blocks in human B-cell ontogeny leading to X-linked agammaglobulinemia. Here, we provide unique biochemical and genetic evidence that BTK is an inhibitor of the Fas/APO-1 death-inducing signaling complex in B-lineage lymphoid cells. The Src homology 2, pleckstrin homology (PH), and kinase domains of BTK are all individually important and apparently indispensable, but not sufficient, for its function as a negative regulator of Fas-mediated apoptosis. BTK associates with Fas via its kinase and PH domains and prevents the FAS-FADD interaction, which is essential for the recruitment and activation of FLICE by Fas during the apoptotic signal. Fas-resistant DT-40 lymphoma B-cells rendered BTK-deficient through targeted disruption of the btk gene by homologous recombination knockout underwent apoptosis after Fas ligation, but wild-type DT-40 cells or BTK-deficient DT-40 cells reconstituted with wild-type human btk gene did not. Introduction of an Src homology 2 domain, a PH domain, or a kinase domain mutant human btk gene into BTK-deficient cells did not restore the resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis. Introduction of wild-type BTK protein by electroporation rendered BTK-deficient DT-40 cells resistant to the apoptotic effects of Fas ligation. BTK-deficient RAMOS-1 human Burkitt's leukemia cells underwent apoptosis after Fas ligation, whereas BTK-positive NALM-6-UM1 human B-cell precursor leukemia cells expressing similar levels of Fas did not. Treatment of the anti-Fas-resistant NALM-6-UM1 cells with the leflunomide metabolite analog alpha-cyano-beta-methyl-beta-hydroxy-N-(2, 5-dibromophenyl)propenamide, a potent inhibitor of BTK, abrogated the BTK-Fas association without affecting the expression levels of BTK or Fas and rendered them sensitive to Fas-mediated apoptosis. The ability of BTK to inhibit the pro-apoptotic effects of Fas ligation prompts the hypothesis that apoptosis of developing B-cell precursors during normal B-cell ontogeny may be reciprocally regulated by Fas and BTK.
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These data suggests that leflunomide can prevent primary allergic sensitization and prevent allergen-induced EAR by inhibiting production of allergen-specific IgE antibodies. Further studies in atopic conditions are warranted.
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Beginning in 1998, a surge of new agents has expanded treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Although the disease modifying potential of these agents is encouraging, their use must be weighed against an evolving array of new safety concerns. Because of the popularity of these agents with patients and rheumatologists alike, clinicians must be prepared to discuss the potential risks associated with novel disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic therapies as they begin to appear with greater frequency in practice. This article discusses the safety issues arising from clinical trial and postmarketing experience with several new and commonly used agents, with specific emphasis on adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, anakinra, and leflunomide.
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These findings, in demonstrating that leflunomide exerts antiviral activity against HSV-1 by mechanisms similar to those we have previously shown with cytomegalovirus, imply that this agent may possess broad spectrum activity against other herpesviruses.
The primary goal in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is to maintain good quality of life by preventing joint destruction and avoiding disability. For this purpose, all patients with the diagnosis of RA should be treated by disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) including biologic DMARDs and non-biologic DMARDs. All DMARDs are expected to prevent the progression of bone and cartilage destruction of RA patients from the results of in vitro research, and prevention of joint destruction is confirmed in vivo in all biologic DMARDs, but not in all non-biologic DMARDs. In this chapter, we would like to review the results of basic researches and clinical studies to demonstrate the prevention of joint destruction by non-biologic DMARDs that have been frequently used I daily practice.
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Oral administration of leflunomide was a safe and effective alternative to oral administration of corticosteroids for treatment of IMPA in dogs. On the basis of findings in this study, a starting dosage for leflunomide of 3 to 4 mg/kg (1.4 to 1.8 mg/lb) PO once daily for at least 6 weeks before making dose adjustments is recommended. Dose adjustments should be based on cytologic evaluation of synovial fluid and clinical signs of IMPA. Hematologic variables, serum biochemical analysis results, and clinical signs of IMPA should be monitored for evidence of adverse effects to treatment with leflunomide.
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In both protocols, patient-reported assessments of disease activity, pain and physical function reflected little or no improvement with placebo, best discriminating between active and placebo therapy, as did ESR and CRP.
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Xian-Fang-Huo-Ming-Yin (XFHM), a traditional herbal formula, has been used to treat sores and carbuncles for hundreds of years in Asia. Nowadays, its clinical effects in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been validated. In this study, we want to study its possible molecular mechanisms of regulating the differentiation of lymphocytes and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice for RA treatment.
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Continuous indices may be an informative addition to categorical ACR 20%, 50%, or 70% responses to compare efficacies of various treatments in RA, and to describe lower responses to placebo by recognizing worsening as well as improvement.
The renal toxicity of DMARDs varies widely. Cyclosporine, gold, and D-penicillamine all have a serious potential for renal side effects, particularly in the elderly or in patients with compromised renal function. Concomitant use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increases the potential for renal damage. In contrast, methotrexate, azathioprine, antimalarials, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, etanercept, and infliximab have relatively little renal toxicity.
A total of 514 patients were enrolled in this study (mean age 50.7 years, mean disease duration 6.1 years). In the primary effectiveness analysis, 380 (86.4%) of 440 patients (95% confidence interval 82.8%-89.4%) achieved a PsARC response at 24 weeks. Significant improvements were observed in tender and swollen joint scores and counts, patient and physician global assessments, fatigue, pain, skin disease, dactylitis, and nail lesions. The discontinuation rate was 12.3%. Ninety-eight adverse drug reactions occurred in 62 (12.1%) patients; 3 drug reactions were serious (2 increased liver enzymes, 1 hypertensive crisis).
Patients (n = 179) with relapsing-remitting MS (n = 157) or secondary progressive MS with relapses (n = 22) were randomized to receive placebo, teriflunomide 7 mg/day, or teriflunomide 14 mg/day for 36 weeks. MRI brain scans were performed every 6 weeks. The primary endpoint was the number of combined unique active lesions per MRI scan. Secondary endpoints included MRI-defined disease burden, relapse frequency, and disability increase.
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The considerable progress in the treatment of RA over the past 20 years is due in large part to a better understanding of how to use DMARDs optimally and the introduction of biologic agents. In addition to their ability to suppress inflammation, and thereby reduce symptoms of pain and stiffness, these drugs also have the potential to alter the course of RA by slowing disease progression and reducing joint damage.