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Clinical Trials for Lupus Underway After Decades of Drought
Date:10/3/2007

Free Patient Education Campaign Urges Enrollment

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in decades, a significant number of clinical trials are being conducted to seek a treatment, perhaps even a cure, for lupus, a chronic and potentially fatal autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans -- 10,000 in Los Angeles County alone.

A key question that clinical trials answer is, "Will this drug help people and be safe to take?" The question is urgent for people with lupus, because no major new treatments have been approved for the disease in nearly 50 years, and existing medicines are toxic and fraught with side effects.

Until recently, there weren't even trials for people with lupus to enroll in; only recently, with breakthroughs in understanding why the immune system turns against itself in lupus, are new ideas for treatments making their way into the drug approval pipeline.

Fifteen clinical trials in lupus are underway in the Los Angeles area at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and an additional 10 are currently recruiting people with lupus. Physicians estimate that 1 in 5 people with the chronic and difficult-to-diagnose illness are not even aware that they are sick with lupus, according to Daniel Wallace, MD, clinical professor of medicine and attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Wallace is chief investigator at the lupus clinical trial center there.

Lupus Together for Clinical Trials Today, a free patient education program presented by Lupus LA that explains clinical trials for lupus, is scheduled for this Thursday, Oct. 4, from 5:50 to 8 p.m., in the Garden Room at the Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City. Registration and a buffet dinner are from 5:30 to 6:30. Pre-registration is required; call Lupus LA at 310-652-7770.

Dr. Wallace and Jennifer Grossman, MD, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Medical Center, will expl
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SOURCE Lupus LA
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