Clinical targeting of the TNF and TNFR superfamilies

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2013 Feb;12(2):147-68. doi: 10.1038/nrd3930. Epub 2013 Jan 21.


Inhibitors of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) are among the most successful protein-based drugs (biologics) and have proven to be clinically efficacious at reducing inflammation associated with several autoimmune diseases. As a result, attention is focusing on the therapeutic potential of additional members of the TNF superfamily of structurally related cytokines. Many of these TNF-related cytokines or their cognate receptors are now in preclinical or clinical development as possible targets for modulating inflammatory diseases and cancer as well as other indications. This Review focuses on the biologics that are currently in clinical trials for immune-related diseases and other syndromes, discusses the successes and failures to date as well as the expanding therapeutic potential of modulating the activity of this superfamily of molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / immunology*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors / immunology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors / metabolism


  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors