Graves' Orbitopathy (OG) is a process associated with the disease of Graves-Basedow, which affects the thyroid gland and causes inflammation and swelling in the eye tissues, causing various symptoms, such as exophthalmos (bulging of the eyeballs), eye pain, double vision and limitation of eye movements. It is a difficult disorder to control and in most cases requires treatment with high doses of corticosteroids, with the associated side effects.
Treatment for Graves' orbitopathy
The good news is that we now have a new drug that has shown very good results, reducing exophthalmos and the associated problems of double vision and pain, and with much lower side effects than those that appear with corticosteroids: teprotumumab. , a human monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) on orbital fibroblasts. Orbital fibroblasts are cells found in the eye orbit and that are affected by inflammation in Graves' orbitopathy.
There is an increase in the volume of the tissues that surround the eyeball inside the orbit, "pushing" the eye outward and causing the appearance of "bulging eyes”, exophthalmos, which characterizes this process.
Teprotumumab works by blocking the TSHR receptor on orbital fibroblasts, thereby reducing inflammation and swelling in ocular tissues, reducing symptoms, and especially exophthalmos, in patients with Graves' orbitopathy.
Results of treatment with Teprotumumab
In clinical trials, patients receiving teprotumumab experienced a significant improvement in GO symptoms compared to those receiving placebo. Teprotumumab is administered intravenously over a period of 21 weeks. Patients typically receive eight infusions of teprotumumab over this period. In clinical trials, teprotumumab was generally well tolerated, with the most common side effects being nausea, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.
In summary, teprotumumab is an innovative drug that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Graves' disease with orbital involvement (Graves' orbitopathy). This drug is a very important option for patients suffering from this autoimmune disease and can significantly improve their quality of life.