Navigation Links
Newer Drug Seems Better at Controlling Lupus Kidney Complication
Date:11/16/2011

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A newer immune-suppressing drug called mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) is better at controlling a serious kidney complication from lupus than another commonly used therapy, a new study suggests.

People taking mycophenolate were about half as likely to progress to treatment failure as were people taking azathioprine (Imuran), according to the researchers.

"This study was looking at maintenance therapy for people with lupus nephritis. Was the older drug azathioprine similar or better to the newer drug mycophenolate mofetil [MMF]? We found that MMF was better overwhelmingly," said study author Dr. Mary Anne Dooley, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"There were fewer flares of recurrent nephritis in the group receiving MMF, and more people on MMF went into complete remission. All of the parameters we looked at were going in the same direction," she said.

Results of the study are published in the Nov. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus, is an autoimmune disease that can cause problems in many areas of the body, including the kidneys. When lupus affects the kidneys, it's called lupus nephritis.

"Lupus nephritis is one of the more serious consequences of lupus. It's associated with significantly increased morbidity and mortality," explained Dr. Cynthia Aranow, an investigator at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.

Because lupus is an autoimmune disease, healthy cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body's immune system. So, drugs that suppress the immune system dampen the attack on healthy cells, and are the main treatment currently available for lupus nephritis. The drugs are administered in a similar manner to the way they're used for suppressing the immune system after an organ transplant. The initial phase of treatment includes stronger medicines or stronger doses to induce a remission. Once a remission is induced, patients are switched to maintenance therapy.

And, that's what the current study was designed to assess. It included 227 people with lupus nephritis, ranging in age from 12 to 75 years old. One hundred and sixteen were randomly assigned to maintenance treatment with mycophenolate mofetil and 111 were assigned to receive azathioprine.

Aranow explained that lupus nephritis is classified as an "orphan disease," a term used to describe diseases that affect only small numbers of individuals, which makes getting large numbers of people into clinical trials very difficult.

The researchers found that treatment failure occurred in 32.4 percent of people who were taking azathioprine versus 16.4 percent of those taking mycophenolate mofetil. Flare-ups of kidney disease activity occurred in 23.4 percent of those taking azathioprine and 12.9 percent of those on mycophenolate mofetil, according to the study.

Both groups had significant side effects, including minor infections and gastrointestinal disorders. But, serious adverse events were more common in people taking azathioprine compared to those on mycophenolate -- 33.3 percent versus 23.5 percent, respectively.

The study was initially funded by Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, in collaboration with Roche Pharmaceuticals. Roche produces CellCept, which is U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved for people who've had an organ transplant. Aspreva's agreement with Roche allowed them to seek approval of CellCept specifically for the treatment of lupus nephritis, according to Dooley. During the course of the study, Aspreva went out of business and was acquired by Vifor Pharmaceuticals. Vifor continued funding the study.

Dooley said that right now mycophenolate mofetil is only available as CellCept, and is more expensive than azathioprine. But, she added, it will soon be generic, which should bring the cost closer to azathioprine.

Aranow said this study shows that "progress is being made, and the prognosis for people with lupus nephritis is better than it was years ago. From this study, it appears that CellCept has a slight superiority over Imuran for keeping lupus nephritis in remission."

More information

Learn more about lupus nephritis from the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

SOURCES: Mary Anne Dooley, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor, medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Cynthia Aranow, M.D., investigator, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, N.Y.; Nov. 17, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Newer cornea transplant surgery shows short- and long-term promise
2. Newer Blood Test Predicts Diabetes, Heart Disease
3. Newer Genetic Test for Autism More Effective
4. Newer Blood Thinner Beats Plavix for Bypass Patients
5. Newer Genetic Info Adds Little to Predicting Breast Cancer
6. In infant heart surgery, newer technique yields better survival in first year of life
7. Newer Drugs Beat Gleevec in Head-to-Head Trials
8. Decrease in suicide not linked to newer antidepressants
9. Newer, more intense chemotherapy with less radiation not more effective against Hodgkins lymphoma
10. Newer Drug May Help Prevent Fracture in Men With Prostate Cancer
11. Research shows rapid adoption of newer, more expensive prostate cancer treatments
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Newer Drug Seems Better at Controlling Lupus Kidney Complication
(Date:6/27/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... are fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO ... another unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are derived from many ... the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in the current issue ... the full issue, click here . , For the American Society of Clinical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment ... also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First ... United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell ... facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 26, 2016 Story ... operating models within the health care industry is causing ... efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite of solutions ... issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, revenue ... services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick ... Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University ... for Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory ... strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., ... June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical ... Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: