Using Systems Biology-based Analysis Approaches to Identify Mechanistically Significant Adverse Drug Reactions: Pulmonary Complications from Combined Use of Anti-TNFα Agents and Corticosteroids

AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc. 2013 Mar 18;2013:151-5. eCollection 2013.


Anti-TNF drugs are frequently associated with serious Adverse Events (AEs), which necessitates an improved understanding of individual factors that determine efficacy and safety of anti-TNF agents. We mined the US FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) for anti-TNF-associated AEs to identify and stratify patient subgroups and drug combinations that exhibit specifically correlated complications. We demonstrate the existence of patient subgroup and anti-TNF agent-specific associations for relative risks of developing known and novel AEs including infections, edema, and organ damage associated processes. Concomitant use of anti-TNFs with corticosteroids significantly increased risk of AEs (p < 0.001) including pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary edema. Using these tightly correlated phenotypes, we mined mouse phenotype data to identify the molecular basis of these AEs. Multiple pathways and networks that regulate injury response, fluid regulation, and wound healing were implicated suggesting modification of anti-TNF-based therapeutic strategies to minimize corticosteroid-based combinatorial risk of severe AEs.