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What Is Tumor Necrosis Factor?

TNF Defined


Updated May 06, 2014

Definition: Tumor Necrosis Factor or TNF, is a cytokine which is involved in the inflammatory process. Cytokines are chemical substances which deliver messages between cells in the body.

TNF blocker drugs target the effects of tumor necrosis factor-alpha. TNF blocker drugs include:

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha is one of the most important cytokines involved in rheumatoid arthritis through its entanglement in the cascade of inflammatory reactions. TNF blockers bind to tumor necrosis factor-alpha, rendering it inactive, and interfering with inflammatory activity, ultimately decreasing joint damage.

In November 1998, Enbrel became the first TNF blocker drug approved by the FDA. Remicade was approved by the FDA in November 1999. Humira was approved by the FDA in December 2002.

According to rheumatologist Scott J. Zashin, M.D, at least 70% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who start one of the TNF blocker drugs will get significant improvement in their condition. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle Of TNF Blockers. The book is a must-have for anyone taking or considering the biologic drugs. Read our review of the book.

Also Known As: TNF

Common Misspellings: tumur necrosus facter, TFN

Examples: The doctor prescribed a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker drug to treat my rheumatoid arthritis.

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