Leading the way to a cure

Lupus Research Update: 2013 Volume 2

Volume 2, 2013 | In This Issue

Lupus Clinical Trials - People Advancing Science >
Insights into Clinical Trials - One Doctor's Perspective >
Faces of Lupus - Transforming Personal Loss into Hope for Others >
Lupus News Corner >

Lupus Clinical Trials

People Advancing Science

It is well known that understanding the causes of — and finding the cures for — complex diseases like lupus is no small undertaking. It requires vast financial resources and the ideas of the most brilliant scientific investigators.

The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) plays an invaluable role in both raising critical dollars for lupus research and funding the studies of world-renowned doctors and scientists. The process, however, does not end there.

Any study involving a therapeutic agent — even those that show the greatest potential in lab tests — must be proven safe and effective in humans before it can be made available to people living with the disease.

And the only way to determine the safety of a drug, therapy, procedure, or medical device designed to ameliorate the symptoms of lupus is to conduct clinical trials.

ALR President, Kenneth M. Farber explains the essential role that these trials play: "They are crucial to broadening medical knowledge and patient care. As with other diseases, in lupus, clinical trials tell the scientific community whether a new therapy or approach works in people with the disease and if it is safe. Such knowledge is invaluable. It can improve health, alleviate painful symptoms, and even prolong lives."

Clinical trials are generally considered to be one of the last steps in the development of a new drug or therapy — and every advance in the treatment of lupus must go through this procedure.

It can take decades to guarantee a drug's safety, at a cost of millions of dollars. Until recently, the process has been exceedingly slow and daunting. The latest lupus drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) occurred in 2011, the first in more than 50 years!

The ALR was one of the pioneering funders of B-cell research, which helped to bring this new lupus-specific drug to market. And today the organization continues to aggressively seek to bring new drugs from the lab to patients' bedsides. Currently, the effectiveness of 40 agents is being studied in people with lupus and the ALR has funded the initial inquiries for the development of 30% of these investigations.

Click here for more information on therapeutic agents in the lupus treatment pipeline.

Taking Steps to Save Lives

While the ALR has made significant gains in lupus research, much is still unknown about the disease. Clinical trials are one way that ordinary people can help scientists find ways to improve outcomes for lupus patients.

Anyone with lupus who chooses to participate in a lupus clinical trial takes an active role in improving his/her quality of treatment and gains access to new research and therapies before they become widely available. Such individuals, as well as volunteers who do not have lupus, can take pride in knowing that they are helping society eradicate a truly awful disease.

As with other diseases, lupus clinical trials must adhere to strict scientific and ethical guidelines to protect all participants.

If you think you may be interested in participating in a clinical trial, you might consider reviewing Clinical Trials - a new online ALR publication -with your physician.

You'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, such as:

  • What are clinical trials and why are they so important?
  • How do clinical trials work?
  • Are clinical trials safe?
  • How are participants protected?
  • Am I eligible to participate?
  • What are the phases of a clinical trial?

While the ALR highly values the information that can only be garnered through clinical trials, the organization does not monitor, substantiate, or endorse clinical trials.

The decision to participate in a clinical trial is a personal one that should be made with the full knowledge of its risks and benefits.

To learn more, click here for the ALR's Clinical Trials. This informative brochure provides greater detail on clinical trials and their various phases. It is also designed to help people with lupus make informed decisions about joining a clinical trial.

1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

172 million

dollars committed to lupus research by the Lupus Research Alliance.

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


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

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