Dissecting molecular heterogeneity of SLE patient treatment response
Although there are a number of lupus treatments available, there is no way to predict which drugs will work for a specific patient without relying on trial and error. One lupus drug called abatacept works by impairing the function of a type of immune cells known as T cells. In people with lupus, T cells cause inflammation that harms healthy human cells and results in symptoms. By interfering with T cells, abatacept lowers the level of inflammation and alleviates symptoms. Even though abatacept works for many lupus patients, for unknown reasons this drug does not help everyone. Dr. Guthridge’s study is using emerging technology to compare the blood samples from patients whose lupus does respond to treatment with that of lupus patients who do not improve with abatacept therapy. By comparing the immune cells in each sample, he aims to determine what is different about the immune response in patients who respond to treatment compared to those who don’t.
What this study means for people with lupus
This study will identify differences in the immune system that can predict which patients are likely to benefit from treatment with abatacept.