Biologic therapies benefit psoriasis patients, but need more study

February 21, 2005

Biologic therapies are promising agents for the treatment of psoriasis, offering successful therapy without the organ toxicity associated with traditional systemic approaches such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, says Jeffrey M. Weinberg, M.D.

Biologic therapies are promising agents for the treatment of psoriasis, offering successful therapy without the organ toxicity associated with traditional systemic approaches such as methotrexate and cyclosporine, says Jeffrey M. Weinberg, M.D.

Dr. Weinberg, who will speak today on "Advances in Psoriasis," says infliximab, etanercept, efalizumab and alefacept - the four biologic agents now available or under investigation for clinical use - have demonstrated varying efficacy, and each has associated safety concerns.

Issues and potential limitations with use of these agents include the high cost of treatment, the lack of long-term follow-up and the selective nature of the patients treated to date.

Dr. Weinberg says long-term monitoring of these agents is needed to determine the potential risk for increased infection and malignancy in patients treated with them.

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