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Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — though there is no cure lupus And treatment doesn’t work for many of the 1.5 million people in the U.S. with the disease, a new study suggests, cancer treatment may push hard-to-treat lupus ease.
lupus is a autoimmune disease This happens when the body’s immune system fires friendly fire on its own skin, joints, bones, kidneys and heart, triggering a cascade of symptoms.
Enter CAR-T therapy.
The therapy, used to treat certain types of cancer, takes the body’s own T cells, trains them in the lab to recognize very specific cells, and then injects them into the body to do their job. In lupus, the therapy targets a protein on B cells, CD19.
The small study included five people with severe lupus that involved multiple organs — such as the kidneys, heart, lungs and joints — who did not respond to standard treatments.
After about three months after one treatment, the patient’s symptoms improved, including remission of organ involvement and disappearance of disease-related autoantibodies. What’s more, they don’t require any additional treatment.Similar results in a lupus patient were published in New England Journal of Medicine 2021.
“serious [lupus] are very sensitive to CAR-T cell therapy, and [people] Long-term drug-free remission can be entered,” said study author Dr. Georg Schett, vice president of research and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.
Side effects from the new study were mild, he said. In cancer research, this type of treatment causes high fever and chills, difficulty breathing and a cytokine release syndrome, which can occur when CAR-T cells proliferate and release large amounts of inflammatory cytokines into the blood.
Now, the researchers plan to find out immune system Did go through a deep reset and behave normally in the future.
“Monitoring patients for longer periods of time is important to test whether they enjoy long-term disease-free remission and ultimately cure [lupus],” Shet said.
Such a treatment may come sooner or later, he said. “CAR-T cell therapy is well established in cancer medicine, particularly for the treatment of lymphomas and leukemias,” Schett noted.
The study was published Sept. 15 in the journal natural medicine .
Lupus experts say they are excited about the new findings.
“This is a very, very big thing,” said Hoang Nguyen, senior science program manager at the Lupus Research Consortium. Her organization supports preliminary studies investigating CAR-T therapy in mouse models of lupus.
“There is no real cure for lupus, and current treatments have limited effectiveness,” Nguyen said. “This is the first time in a 100-day study that the treatment eliminated lupus symptoms in all treated subjects.”
However, she cautioned that there were only five people in the trial, and there wasn’t enough information on the long-term effects.
Dr. Jill Buyon is director of the NYU Langone Lupus Center in New York City. “Patients got better with multiple symptoms and didn’t need other treatments, including steroids. More research is needed on a large number of lupus patients with longer follow-up, but this is very exciting,” she said.
According to Dr. Ruth Fernandez Ruiz, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, “[Lupus] The patient showed significant clinical improvement after receiving CAR-T cell therapy, and clinical remission during drug withdrawal… [the] Drugs during follow-up after CAR-T cell therapy.Despite limited sample size, likely to play a role in implementing CAR-T cell therapy [lupus]especially for patients with refractory severe disease [resistant] to standard care treatment. “
The Lupus Foundation of America has more information on lupus treatment.
Sources: Georg Schett, MD, Vice President, Department of Internal Medicine, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Friedrich-Alexander University, Nuremberg, Germany; Jill Buyon, MD, Rheumatologist, NYU Langone, NYC Director of the Lupus Center; Dr. Hoang Nguyen, Senior Science Program Manager, Lupus Research Consortium, New York City; Ruth Fernandez Ruiz, MD, Rheumatologist, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City; natural medicineSeptember 15, 2022