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Lupus Research Update: 2012 Volume 1

Volume 1, 2012 - Online Edition | In This Issue


Offering New Promise in Diagnosis >
Biomarkers - an Important Diagnostic Tool >
New Guidelines in Diagnosing Lupus Nephritis >
Faces of Lupus: Mack the Molecule! >
2012 ALR TIL Grantees Named >
Lupus News Corner >

Lupus News Corner

New Blood Test Diagnoses Lupus With Greater Accuracy

Dr. Joseph Ahearn (see first article) knows all too well the havoc a misdiagnosis of lupus can cause.

"It can lead those with the disease to be subjected to wrong treatments and others to believe they have lupus, when in fact, they don't," said Dr. Ahearn. This is why he has spent the past eight years refining a blood test that could bring greater clarity to the diagnosis process.

The new blood test (Avise-SLE) designed by Dr. Ahearn and his team of physicians and scientists from the West Penn Allegheny Health System pinpoints proteins that are useful in ruling in lupus and ruling out similar disorders.

Here is how it works. Blood drawn in a doctor's office measures levels of various proteins - or cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs) - deposited on the surfaces of all blood cells. Looking at combinations of CB-CAPs results in more sensitive and specific diagnoses.

A validation study of Avise-SLE was completed last year, gathering data from select hospitals across the country. Avise-SLE was able to confirm a lupus diagnosis with 78 percent accuracy and rule out other rheumatic diseases with 86 percent accuracy.

In a recent interview, Dr. Ahearn expressed excitement that the new test is now commercially available nationwide: "Knowing that this test will help people with lupus access early treatments is tremendously satisfying to me."

Dr. Ahearn was also quick to acknowledge the critical ALR support that enabled his investigation to get off the ground. "We simply couldn't have done it without the dedicated early support from the ALR," said Dr. Ahearn. "The data we gathered with ALR funding enabled us to attract larger government grants, which we could not have done on our own. The ALR is definitely a cornerstone of the Avise-SLE test."

The ALR is proud to have been a catalyst to this important breakthrough.

Dr. Joseph Ahearn and his team have developed a simple blood test to more accurately diagnose lupus.
As this publication goes to press, Avise-SLE is becoming commercially available.

National Limousine Association Takes Driver's Seat in Lupus Research

For the sixth consecutive year, the National Limousine Association (NLA) has shown its support of the ALR. This year, the NLA has generously donated $15,000.

The NLA has been a good friend to the ALR and the announcement of this year's gift was made at the International Limousine, Charter and Tour Convention in Las Vegas in February 2012.


A Cure for Lupus Starts With One Step - Yours!

Each year, Walk with Us to Cure Lupus events throughout the country help to raise millions of dollars for ALR-funded investigations.

This year, you can help the ALR build on a momentum that is fueling the most pioneering lupus research in the world by participating in an event near you.

For a listing of our nationwide events, please visit the ALR website at www.lupusresearch.org


1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

90 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Alliance for Lupus Research.


We're walking across the United States to raise awareness and funds for lupus research.

Can't make it? Join our National Virtual Walk to participate anytime, anywhere.


Show your support by visiting the Alliance for Lupus Research online store. Discover the perfect gift, or prepare for a walk with our selection of apparel and accessories.