September 28, 2022

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Five lupus patients enter long-term remission after experimental immunotherapy

Five lupus patients enter long-term remission after experimental immunotherapy



 

Five lupus patients enter long-term remission after experimental immunotherapy.


Scientists in Germany report that five patients who received an experimental treatment for lupus erythematosus went into remission for up to 17 months.

This promising breakthrough comes from the use of CAR T-cell immunotherapy, an emerging therapy for diseases such as cancer.

 

 

Five lupus patients enter long-term remission after experimental immunotherapy

 

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus for short) is an autoimmune disease that affects large parts of the body.

Immune cells mistakenly attack healthy tissue, leading to a range of symptoms ranging from fever, fatigue, joint pain and rashes to severe damage to vital organs including the heart and kidneys.

Symptoms can be persistent or episodic, followed by periods of remission.

 

There is currently no cure, but there are some treatment options, including glucocorticoids to reduce inflammation, therapies to quiet immune cells, or drugs to help with pain flare-ups.

Now, though, scientists at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany have demonstrated promising results from a new experimental treatment, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

 

The therapy is a type of immunotherapy that is currently being investigated as a cancer treatment and is showing signs of success.

It involves removing immune cells from a patient, making them seek out a specific target, and returning them to work.

 

In this case, the target was CD19 — a protein expressed on the surface of B cells, immune cells that run out of control during lupus erythematosus.

The team administered CAR T-cell therapy to five patients with active lupus, including four women and one man, all in their teens and early twenties.

 

The results are impressive. The CAR T cells rapidly expanded in the patients for the first 10 days and then declined, reducing their B cells to below detectable levels.

When the scientists followed up for three to 17 months after treatment, all five patients went into and remained in remission, and their symptoms gradually disappeared, making them no longer needing regular medication.

 

Intriguingly, the patient’s B cell population rebounded in the months following treatment, but the new B cells were “naive” and no longer had the antibodies that caused them to attack the body’s own cells.

This means that the immune system may be effectively restarted after CAR T-cell therapy, the team said.

 

Importantly, the side effects also appeared to be very mild, such as fever for several days, and the team reported no infection.

 

These results could point to a potential new treatment for lupus and possibly other autoimmune diseases.

However, to fully assess the safety and efficacy of CAR T-cell therapy for these diseases, future clinical trials will require larger cohorts and longer follow-up periods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five lupus patients enter long-term remission after experimental immunotherapy

(source:internet, reference only)


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