Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Nov 28:S0006-291X(20)32128-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.11.084. Online ahead of print.
This Mini Review of the literature aimed to assess the role of tocilizumab for the treatment of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on the available scientific evidence, it is not clear to date what is the best therapeutic strategy for the treatment of COVID-19. Since SARS-CoV-2 infection stimulates a vigorous proinflammatory response and may cause the so-called "cytokine storm", immunomodulator drugs have been investigated as potential treatment for severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Among immunomodulators, tocilizumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody directed against IL-6 receptor, seems to be promising. An increasing number of clinical trials are exploring the role of tocilizumab in COVID-19, focusing on outcomes like mortality, risk of intensive care unit admission and the need for mechanical ventilation. At the moment, there is no conclusive evidence that tocilizumab would be proper outright in all patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, but some studies suggest that its use may be beneficial in selected categories of patients.