Can we measure TNF (Tumour Necrosis Factor)?

Recently I was asked if a person’s TNF level could be measured to know if a biologic that lowers TNF is a good treatment for them. I wish it was that easy! Although we can do blood tests for markers of inflammation, such as CRP (C-Reactive Protein) or ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate), these tests do not tell which specific inflammatory substance is elevated.
We are very hopeful that pharmacogenetic testing will determine which type of advanced therapies are best suited to an individual in the future.  Currently,  it is often trial and error to find which type of therapy will offer the best result.  It is not unusual for a treatment that has been successful in a close family member to also be successful in their relative with the same autoimmune condition.

Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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