Navigation Links
Drug Combo Helps Lupus-Related Kidney Condition
Date:11/11/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of drugs may offer a better way to combat a serious kidney complication that commonly affects people with lupus, a new study from China suggests.

In a trial of more than 300 Chinese patients with the condition, known as lupus nephritis, those who were given a trio of powerful drugs were more likely to see a complete remission. After six months, 46 percent were in full remission, versus 26 percent of patients given an intravenous drug called cyclophosphamide.

"These are important results," said Dr. David Wofsy, a rheumatologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study.

But there are some big questions that still need to be answered, he added.

One is whether lupus patients of other races and ethnicities would get the same benefits as these Chinese patients. The genetics of lupus vary, Wofsy explained, and researchers know from experience that a treatment can work well for one ethnic group, but not others.

"We need to proceed with caution," Wofsy said. "This is a first step, and we'll need to see these results replicated in other patient groups."

The researchers, led by Dr. Zhihong Liu of Nanjing University School of Medicine in China, reported the findings online Nov. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks tissue throughout the body, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs and kidneys. It's often first diagnosed in women in their 20s and 30s, and is more common among Asian, black and Hispanic people than whites, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

Up to 60 percent of people with the disease develop lupus nephritis, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

"Nephritis is the most common of the dreaded life-threatening complications that can affect people with lupus," Wofsy said.

But right now, he added, there are no drugs approved specifically to treat lupus nephritis. "So we try what we can," Wofsy said.

Two drugs that suppress the immune system -- intravenous cyclophosphamide and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), an oral drug -- have become the standard treatments, Wofsy said.

But for many people, he explained, those medications alone don't put the kidney disease into remission -- or the side effects are too harsh for patients to tolerate.

And because of those side effects, Wofsy noted, doctors have been "hesitant" to try combining different immune-suppressing drugs to boost the chances of remission.

But in the new study, Liu's team did just that. They randomly assigned patients with lupus nephritis to one of two groups: One received monthly infusions of cyclophosphamide, plus oral steroid medication to ease their kidney inflammation; the other received oral steroids, along with two immune-suppressing medications -- MMF and tacrolimus.

After six months, 46 percent of patients on the drug trio were in complete remission, and 84 percent had at least a partial response -- meaning their kidney function had improved, according to the study.

In contrast, just under 26 percent of patients on cyclophosphamide were in complete remission. And 63 percent had at least a partial response, the researchers found.

"This is encouraging, in showing that combination therapy may have better efficacy," said Dr. Gary Gilkeson, a rheumatologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston. "It will definitely lead to further studies."

But Gilkeson, who was not involved in the study, agreed that the results have to be replicated in other racial and ethnic groups.

He said one of the worries with giving multiple drugs is that it will boost the risk of side effects -- which, depending on the medication, can include infections, tremors, diarrhea, nausea and sleep problems.

In this study, about half of patients in each group had a serious side effect, according to Liu's team.

"So the toxicity was equivalent," Gilkeson said. "But everybody is looking for less toxicity. And we don't know what the long-term effects could be if this were continued beyond six months."

One potential side effect is high blood pressure, he noted, which can actually damage the kidneys.

Another unknown, according to Gilkeson, is whether patients with severe nephritis can benefit from the drug combination.

"This study didn't include patients with severe disease," he said. "So we don't know yet if the results would translate to them."

More information

The Lupus Foundation of America has more on lupus.

SOURCES: Gary Gilkeson, M.D., associate dean, faculty affairs and faculty development, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; David Wofsy, M.D., professor, medicine, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine; Nov. 10, 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental Chemo Combo for Colon Cancer Disappoints
2. Value of Metformin, Insulin Combo for Type 2 Diabetes Questioned
3. Two-Drug Combo Helps Teens With Migraines
4. Two-Drug Combo May Be Safe for Melanoma Treatment
5. Breast cancer clinical trial tests combo of heat shock protein inhibitor and hormonal therapy
6. Combo Therapy May Help Ease Ringing in the Ears
7. FDA Approves Combo Shot for Meningitis, Hib in Kids
8. Booze, Energy Drinks, Casual Sex Combo Common in College: Study
9. Drug combo better for common type of metastatic breast cancer, UCI-led study finds
10. Double drug combo could shut down abnormal blood vessel growth that feeds disease
11. Cooking-Oil Combo May Improve Blood Pressure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Drug Combo Helps Lupus-Related Kidney Condition
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... With certifications and experience that puts them at ... Adam and Hal Kimowitz are currently accepting new patients at their practice for these ... for some patients, which is why they offer the latest in modern dental techniques ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... Clinical Innovation Catalyst program focused on finding product improvements that could ... placed in their throats when they need help breathing or to provide medication. ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... Ariz. (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... Natural Brands®, makers of SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener, Michael P. May, Ph.D., recently accepted ... Sun Corridor Export Recognition Program selected Wisdom Natural Brands (WNB), and 16 other ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... the security systems industry has been selected as the partner of choice by ... a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... John D'Eri, CEO of ... Leader in Adult Autism Award during the Autism Society of America 's ... The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation (DJFF) was founded in 2002 as the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/29/2017)... AVIV, Israel, May 29, 2017  Cellect Biotechnology Ltd. ... innovative technology which enables the functional selection of stem ... results for the first quarter ended March 31 st ... with our accomplishments in the first quarter of 2017," ... first quarter, we announced the treatment of the first ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... Calif. , May 25, 2017  In response ... States , Direct Relief is working with Pfizer ... Naloxone available at no cost to community health centers, ... nonprofit providers nationwide. "Pfizer has a ... to medicines and ensuring patient safety through educational activities," ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Leaf Healthcare, recognized for developing ... for pressure ulcer prevention, will unveil its comprehensive ... Critical Care Nurses, National Teaching Institute and Critical ... The Leaf Patient Monitoring System is the first ... environment.  The system seamlessly tracks patient movement throughout ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: