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February 2007

The Yin and Yang of TNF-α Inhibition

Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(2):233-236. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.2.233

Few will argue that the availability of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) blocking agents has significantly altered the way dermatologists manage disease in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. Even for physicians who do not use these agents in their practice, the finding that TNF-α inhibitors uniquely arrest destructive joint progression is something that must be considered for patients with significant psoriatic joint disease.

The utility of these agents, however, goes beyond improving the clinical care of our patients. With specifically targeted agents in clinical practice, we now have the ability to observe human “knockouts” on a large scale for the first time in history. It is often by observing the side effects or nonresponders that we are able to increase our understanding of a disease process.

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