Biologic agents that act by inhibiting tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) have become a breakthrough treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases. This highly effective treatment has surprisingly brought us new adverse effects that we had not encountered before the age of biologics. Immune-mediated reactions are a group of adverse effects with not clearly understood etiopathogenesis. It turns out that TNF-alpha inhibitors are able to disrupt the cytokine cascade in genetically predisposed individuals. Some of the theories assume a cross reaction and overproduction of interferon (INF) alpha, while others put an emphasis on dysregulation of cytokines, in particular interleukin (IL)-17. Similarly, debatable is the role of the reactions mentioned in the etiopathogenesis, the production of antibodies against biologics and the production of antinuclear antibodies. The most common immune-mediated skin reactions are psoriasis and psoriasiform reactions, lupus-like syndrome, sarcoidosis, alopecia areata, vasculitis and lichenoid reactions. Less common reactions described in our paper include pyoderma gangrenosum and morphea. Most of these reactions belong to the so-called paradoxical reactions. Paradoxical psoriasis is an adverse effect, represented by occurrence of a disease caused by the therapeutic class of drugs normally used to cure or improve symptoms of such disease.
Part of the book: Antibody Engineering