Current Practices for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of Biopharmaceuticals in Pediatrics
Biopharmaceuticals have recently emerged as effective treatments for refractory pediatric autoimmune conditions. Several reports have shown a relationship between drug concentration, antidrug antibodies, and clinical response in these patients, strongly suggesting the potential interest, usefulness, and reliability of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in children. This article reviews the current state of research in juvenile idiopathic arthritis, pediatric inflammatory bowel disease, and pediatric psoriasis from a TDM point of view. There is a remarkable lack of evidence-based data in pediatric patients, which is reflected throughout the article. Most investigations of TDM are focused on research of tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists in inflammatory bowel disease, albeit preliminary publications are emerging from pediatric rheumatologists and dermatologists. To date, immunogenicity has been a primary concern, particularly regarding infliximab and adalimumab therapy in children, as it may lead to a loss of therapeutic response. Preliminary investigations show that adjusting the dose according to blood drug concentrations improves disease outcomes by overcoming antidrug antibodies, suggesting a crucial role for TDM. Patients who receive other drugs, such as etanercept, abatacept, or tocilizumab, could benefit from TDM because dosage can be optimized by adjusting it to the minimum effective dose.