January 21, 2019
A study just published in Annals of Internal Medicine showed that kidney transplantation reduced deaths due to lupus nephritis — kidney inflammation caused by lupus. Up to 60 percent of people with SLE are diagnosed with lupus nephritis, which can lead to significant illness and even death. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, lupus nephritis is more common among people of color than Caucasians.
During the study, 5738 patients successfully underwent a kidney transplant. The transplant was associated with a 70% reduction in overall death risk in these lupus nephritis patients, primarily due to fewer deaths caused by infection and cardiovascular disease, according to the researchers. The study was led by Drs. April Jorge and Zachary Wallace of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Click here to check out our 2017-18 Lupus Research Portfolio of the many current studies funded by the Lupus Research Alliance aiming to improve treatment for lupus nephritis. In addition, four of our latest Target Identification in Lupus and Novel Research Grants grants also address lupus nephritis.
One of our 2018 Distinguished Innovator Award grantees, Dr. Nir Hacohen recently began a large-scale study to understand why the immune response (to tumors, bacteria or self) varies so dramatically across individuals. He commented, “the results of these studies will generate new hypotheses for how immune cells work together to cause tissue damage in lupus nephritis patient kidneys, lead to new drug targets and better predictors of disease, and guide researchers in the improvement of mouse models to understand human lupus nephritis.”