Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Clinical trial supports better treatment for lupus nephritis


Treating lupus patients suffering from kidney inflammation with a medicine known as mycophenolate mofetil may be more effective in inducing remission than treating them with the standard regimen of intravenous cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), a new clinical trial indicates.

The study, published in Thursday’s issue (Nov. 24) of the New England Journal of Medicine, also showed that mycophenolate mofetil produced fewer complications, researchers found.

Such results could be an important step forward in protecting patients from Cytoxan’s side effects, including loss of child-bearing ability, the doctors say. Since 90 percent of lupus patients are women, and the average age when the disease is diagnosed is 32 years old, loss of fertility remains an important concern.

Authors of the report include Drs. Ellen M. Ginzler, chief of rheumatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, and Mary Anne Dooley, associate professor of medicine and a Thurston Arthritis Research Center investigator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

"This is the first nationwide randomized clinical trial comparing the newer agent, approved for about 10 years for kidney transplant patients, with the long-time standard of care, which has been Cytoxan," said Dooley, who helped design the FDA orphan disease branch-funded study, get it approved and recruit medical centers and patients. "Our results are very promising, but we need to do longer follow-up to see if the new medicine produces long-lasting improvement."

Oral mycophenolate mofetil worked faster in relieving inflamed kidneys, a condition doctors call nephritis, in half of the 140 patients enrolled in the trial, she said. At the end of the six months, patients taking it were doing significantly better than the other half, who were getting monthly intravenous doses of the standard medication.

"Lupus nephritis is a severe manifestation of lupus, which is an autoimmune disease that affects nine times as many women as men," Dooley said. "It also is three times more likely to occur in African-Americans than in Caucasians, and it is an increasing cause of end-stage renal disease.

"Among African-American patients we see, 40 percent progress to dialysis within five years," she said. "That’s despite being treated with Cytoxan, and so we are very motivated to find new drugs to better treat these patients."

For unknown reasons, blacks tend to get lupus earlier in life and suffer severe kidney damage much more frequently, the UNC physician said. African patients get it, too, but not with nearly the same severity as blacks in the U.S. and Europe.

A major issue for future studies of mycophenolate mofetil will be whether it protects as well as, or better than, Cytoxan does against nephritis relapses among lupus patients, Dooley said.

In an accompanying editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. W. Joseph McCune of the University of Michigan said, "In an era of industry-sponsored research, this investigator-initiated and investigator-directed clinical trial makes an important contribution to patient care."

Support for the study came from the Food and Drug Administration’s Orphan Products Development program and Roche Laboratories, which provided medications.

Other researchers and institutions involved included Drs. Cynthia Aranow of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Mimi Y. Kim of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jill Buyon of New York University, Joan T. Merrill of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Michelle Petri of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Gary S. Gilkeson of the Medical University of South Carolina, Daniel J. Wallace and Michael H. Weisman of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Gerald B. Appel of Columbia University.

David Williamson | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>