Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2023;12(1):22-28. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2022.01123)
Treat to target and tight control: Could be a new approach in the treatment of sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease with multisystemic involvement. Although it is accepted as a benign disease, it can sometimes cause life-threatening organ (heart, brain) involvement that determines the prognosis of the disease. There are conflicting opinions about the treatment of the disease. In the generally accepted treatment approach the "step-by-step" model has gained weight. According to this approach, corticosteroids (CS) drugs alone are preferred in the first step in patients who require treatment. In the second step, immunosuppressive drugs (IS) are used in patients who do not respond to CS and/or have contraindications to CS use, and biologics (TNF-alpha inhibitors) are used in the third step. This treatment approach may be valid in cases with mild sarcoidosis. However, although sarcoidosis is considered a benign and self-limiting disease in some major organ involvement, the "step-by-step" approach may be a treatment option that puts the patient's life in danger. In such selected patients, much more rigorous, early and combined treatment approaches that definitely include CS, IS or biologic drugs may be required. In selected sarcoidosis patients with high risk, early diagnosis, "treat-to-target" (T2T) and "tight control" follow-up of patients seems to be a rational approach. This article reviews the "step-down" treatment regimens in light of recent literature data and hypothesizes that the T2T model may be a probable new treatment approach in patients with sarcoidosis.