Immunologic mechanisms for heterogeneity of cutaneous lupus erythematosus
Administrative Supplement to Promote Diversity in Lupus Research was awarded to Thomas Vazquez for his research contribution to this project.
Antimalarial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine are commonly used to treat cutaneous (skin) lupus and prevent disease flare-ups. While they help many people with cutaneous lupus, some do not respond to treatment. Since it takes several months for antimalarial drugs to begin controlling cutaneous lupus, this leads to prolonged suffering for patients who must wait to then find out treatment isn’t working and need to switch to a different drug. To predict which patients are likely to respond to this drug before starting treatment, Dr. Werth is studying skin lesions from lupus patients given hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and quinacrine, and those who don’t respond to antimalarials. Dr. Werth’s study will identify key immune cells that correlate with successful treatment.
What this study means for people with lupus
This study will allow clinicians to predict which patients are likely to respond to treatment with hydroxychloroquine or combination antimalarials before starting on the drug.