Leading the way to a cure


Biomarkers in SLE patients undergoing B cell depletion therapy

Anolik, Jennifer, MD, PhD

University of Roshester

Clinical trials are currently underway to define how well the drug Rituxan (rituximab) works in depleting B cells in patients with lupus. The significant number of clinical samples available from these patients represents an unprecedented opportunity to define biomarkers of disease activity and treatment response to this novel therapeutic intervention.  

So far, Dr. Anolik and her team have observed that a subset of lupus patients can experience long-term clinical remission with this medicine, but they don’t know why. With this pilot grant, the researchers plan to evaluate lymphocyte activation, autoantibody profiles, and ctyokine milieu as markers of disease activity and treatment response in lupus patients undergoing B cell depletion therapy with rituximab.  

What this study means to lupus patients: These studies will contribute to our understanding of the effects of B cell depletion and how it leads to clinical improvement, the role of the B cells in lupus, and early predictors of response to B cell depletion therapy. 

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