TNF-blocking strategies are widely used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Three anti-TNF agents are registered for use in RA: etanercept, infliximab and adalimumab. Although anti-TNF therapy is very effective in controlling disease activity and slowing down radiological damage, prolonged response is only seen in approximately 70% of the patients. The causes for nonresponse in the remaining patients have not yet been elucidated. Pharmacogenetic studies focusing on genes involved in RA etiology (and/or progression) and in the pharmacokinetics of TNF-blocking agents have identified markers associated with anti-TNF treatment outcome. In the future, more exhaustive, less hypothesis-driven search strategies are expected to discover additional markers. Identification of these markers might be viewed as the first step towards tailored TNF-blocking therapy for patients with RA. Nevertheless, replication and large prospective studies will be needed to demonstrate the validity of the identified genetic markers before implementation into daily clinical practice.