The role of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of severe asthma.
A number of therapeutic agents are available for the treatment of asthma, including inhaled corticosteroids, long- and short-acting beta-agonists, leukotriene-modifying agents, long- and short-acting anticholinergic agents, chromones, theophylline, allergen immunotherapy, and oral corticosteroid therapy. All available therapies, despite their proven efficacy, are purely symptomatic including the topical steroids. This issue has led to the development of several biologic agents to aid in asthma management and to potentially alter the course of the disease by interfering with specific aspects of inflammation which may modify remodeling in the airways. Monoclonal antibodies have offered a class of therapeutic agents that enhance treatment options for patients with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma. As such, this article provides an overview of present and future monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of patients with severe asthma.
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