Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common idiopathic systemic vasculitis in persons aged 50years or greater. Treatment options for GCA, to-date, have been limited and have consisted primarily of glucocorticoids. Significant advances in the understanding of the genetic and cellular mechanisms in GCA are leading to identification of potential pathogenic targets. The recent success of interleukin-6 blockade in the treatment of GCA has opened the landscape to targeted biologic therapy. T cells, particularly T helper 1 and T helper 17 cell lineages have been identified as key inflammatory cells in both active and chronic vascular inflammatory lesions. Therapeutic agents, including abatacept and ustekinumab, which can impede both vasculitogenic cell lines are of particular interest. Inhibition of signalling pathways, including the janus kinase-signal tranducers and activation of transcription (JAK-STAT) and Notch pathways are evolving options. Tocilizumab has shown clear benefit in both newly diagnosed and relapsing patients with GCA and approval of this medication for treatment of GCA has led to rapid incorporation into treatment regimens. More information is required to understand the long-term outcomes of tocilizumab and other investigational targeted therapeutics in the treatment of GCA.
- Giant cell arteritis
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