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Over one-third of refractory lupus patients remain stable at long term follow-up

Contact: Rory Berrie
European League Against Rheumatism

Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 14 June 2007: 36% of patients with refractory systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) remain well after undergoing B-cell depletion therapy (BCDT) without needing further standard immunosuppressive agents, according to a study presented today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain.

Overactive B-cells are commonly found in patients with SLE and reducing the number of B-cells in the system by BCDT has been suggested as a promising therapy for SLE patients who are unresponsive to other treatments.

In this study, initiated in 2000, patients with refractory SLE were treated with BCDT (based on rituximab) using a combination protocol with cyclophosphamide and steroids. Of the 33 patients who had a minimum of 6 months follow-up duration at the time of analysis (mean duration 37 months, range 6-79), 12 patients remained well. Median duration of B-cell depletion was 4 months (range 2-15), with 2 patients remaining depleted at time of analysis (73 and 8 months respectively). B-cell depletion was beneficial clinically, with a decrease of median global BILAG scores (clinical activity index – see Editors note) from 13 to 5 when measured between 5 and 8 months pGlobal Health Vision


June 14, 2007 Posted by | Barcelona, European League Against Rheumatism, Global, Global Health Vision, Global News, Lupus, News, News Australia, News Canada, News Israel, News Jerusalem, News UK, News US, SLE, Spain, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Virginia, Washington DC, World News | Leave a comment