CAR-T cell therapy appears to be effective for severe systemic lupus according to a small recent study.

 In Home Page Articles, Links to Lupus News

By Dr. Robert Katz, LSI Board Chair and LSI Medical Advisory Board Chair

(CAR T-cell therapy, typically used in cancer treatment, is a form of immunotherapy.
In CAR T-cell therapy, blood is taken from a person, T cells, a type of immune system cell, are collected. T-cells travel around the body to target and destroy cells that are defective.
CAR T-cell therapy cells are taken from an individual’s blood, modified in a lab to target a defective cell and then put back into a person through an infusion.)

The researchers looked at CAR-T treatment, which is chimeric antigen receptor T cells. Patients responded remarkably well at three months. At present, CAR-T therapy is used for lymphoma and myeloma, two malignancies. The side effects were few in this small study. Patients were first treated with cyclophosphamide and another medicine, fludarabine, causing lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, to be depleted. The CAR-T cells then expanded and depleted the B lymphocytes, which produce antibodies including autoimmune antibodies in lupus.

At three months all five patients had reached lupus drug free remission, which was maintained during a follow-up period of eight months.

This is a small study and an early study, but does point to a promising therapy for severe active lupus not responding to other therapies. The tools to eradicate B lymphocyte cells producing antibodies can be used in lupus if the study is expanded and approved for systemic lupus. In the meantime, it is a therapy that requires more investigation, but is potentially promising for severe lupus, not ordinary, milder lupus.

Robert S. Katz, M.D.

Article published Anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy for refractory systemic lupus erythematosus, Nature Medicine, September 15, 2022. See abstract here.

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Translate »
in katz acr pic 1 2 2 2irene blanco nm headshot