New biologics in the treatment of rare glomerular diseases of childhood

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Abstract

Minimal change disease and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis are rare but important causes of end-stage kidney disease in children. Though their pathogenesis is still unclear, evidence of immune abnormalities provided the background for the use of immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors, antiproliferative and alkylating agents. Unfortunately, these treatments fail to achieve a sustained remission in a significant portion of patients and are burdened by significant toxicities. Recent developments of new biologics, including anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies rituximab and ofatumumab, offered the opportunity to selectively target immune cell subsets or activation pathways, leading to more effective and safer hypothesis-driven treatments.

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