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Correction: Abatacept found ineffective in treatment of non-life threatening lupus
Date:9/29/2010

steroids have serious side effects, so treatments that are targeted and could control disease activity while allowing steroid tapering would represent an advance in lupus therapy," said lead author of the current study, Joan T. Merrill, M.D. of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

Dr. Merrill and colleagues conducted the first trial to assess the effects of abatacept on disease flares in patients with non-life threatening SLE. There were 175 patients included in the trial whose primary symptoms included active polyarthritis, chronic discoid skin lesions, pleuritis, and/or pericarditis. Participants were randomized with 118 administered abatacept (10mg/kg of body weight) by intravenous (IV) infusion on days 1, 15, 29 and every 4 weeks throughout the 12-month period. There were 57 patients in the placebo group who received normal saline IV infusion. Prednisone (30 mg/day) was administered to both groups for 1 month and then tapered.

At the completion of the study 68.6% of participants remained in the abatacept group and 61.4% in the placebo group. Researchers found the most frequent reason for discontinuation was lack of efficacy17.8% in the abatacept group and 21.1% in the placebo cohort. Further more, the proportion of patients with a new flare following the steroid taper was 79.7% and 82.5% in the abatacept and placebo groups, respectively. In ad hoc analyses, there were greater differences when severe flares or physician-reported flares were analyzed separately, and in the subset of patients who entered the study with active arthritis, but these findings are considered exploratory and would require confirmation in future studies.

The research team also found that the frequency of patients with serious adverse events (SAEs) was higher in participants receiving abatacept (19.8%) than with those in the placebo group (6.8%). SAEs were single events ranging from nausea to lupus nephritis, and most often occurred during the
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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