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Ovarian function and fertility preserved in women with severe systemic lupus erythematosus
Date:6/12/2008

Paris, France, Thursday 12 June 2008: Ovarian function can be preserved and disease activity controlled in women with severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) when treated with a 6-month course of cyclophosphamide (CYC), a chemotherapy drug, followed by the immunosuppressant mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France.

SLE, a complex and unpredictable autoimmune disease, is characterised by chronic inflammation and damage of body tissues, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and/or nervous system. It is most common in women and, although long-term survival has dramatically improved over time with better diagnosis and treatment options, one of the challenges in managing the disease is to minimise the side-effects of treatments such as the disruption of ovarian function and risks to fertility. Pulsed intravenous CYC, a chemotherapeutic agent, is a standard therapy for SLE but may also be associated with ovarian failure in addition to other adverse effects.

Dr Katerina Laskari, the presenting author of the study, led by Professor Athanasios G Tzioufas in the Department of Pathophysiology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, said: "Although the prognosis for people with SLE has considerably improved over the years, a patient's quality of life can all too often be seriously impaired by the toxicity of many commonly-used treatments. Preserving ovarian function is a very important consideration in treating women with SLE of child-bearing age, who are already burdened by the difficult nature and impact of the disease itself."

In this retrospective evaluation of 61 postmenopausal women with SLE treated for lupus nephritis (n=58), autoimmune hemolytic anemia (n=1) and central nervous system involvement (n=2), 39 patients received prolonged treatment with 1g/m2 intravenous (IV) CYC pulses (group A)
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Contact: Rory Berrie / Camilla Dormer
eularpressoffice@uk.cohnwolfe.com
44-077-892-70392
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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