The two principal aims in the treatment of Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) are to limit the extent and severity of permanent organ damage by controlling the disease promptly and to minimize the short- and long-term morbidity that often results from therapy. Remission is considered to be the absence of disease activity in any organ system. Once the disease has been controlled by the initial treatment regimen, which is dictated by the degree of disease severity, the focus of therapy shifts to maintaining disease remission, often with medications less toxic than those used to induce remission. The description of WG treatments in terms analogous to cancer chemotherapy (i.e., those designed to induce remissions and those intended to maintain them) is useful in the formulation of current disease management strategies and in the investigation of new therapies for WG.
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