Anti-Tumour Necrosis Factor Therapy for Paediatric Crohn’s Disease: Improved Benefits Through Treatment Optimisation, Deeper Understanding of Its Risks, and Reduced Costs due to Biosimilar Availability
Paediatric Drugs , Volume 20 - Issue 1 p. 19- 28
Antibodies directed to tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) are very effective in treating paediatric Crohn’s disease (CD). Over the last few years, research has provided important new insights into how to optimise this treatment’s effectiveness. Research on predictors for anti-TNF treatment responsiveness has revealed potential markers, but data on their accuracy in paediatric CD patients are lagging behind. Also, new evidence has become available on the safety profile of anti-TNF antibodies that suggests the assumed increased malignancy risk seen in patients on anti-TNF and thiopurine combination treatment may be linked more to thiopurine use and not to anti-TNF treatment. In addition, the early results of CT-P13, an infliximab biosimilar, in CD patients confirm the expected similarity with its originator. Thus, the effectiveness of anti-TNF antibody treatment is slowly improving, its malignancy risk is lower than assumed, and its costs are reduced by the introduction of equally effective biosimilars. Together, these trends allow for a more prominent role for anti-TNF antibodies in future treatment of paediatric CD.