Study: Your friend's stem cell can cure Lupus

New study shows that stem cell transplantation is effective in treating lupus patients who respond poorly to standard treatment.

Artificial heart patients 311 (photo credit: Eli Dadon )
Artificial heart patients 311
(photo credit: Eli Dadon )
A  new  international study suggests that stem cell transplantation can help treating Lupus in cases where traditional treatment fails to help.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease, one of many autoimmune diseases in which the patient's immune system attacks his own body systems, causing inflammation and damage. It may involve many organs, such as the kidneys, joints, skin, and others.
Stem cell transplantation, a process in which stem cells from anotherperson are transferred to the patient, is meant to "reset" thepatient's immune system, thereby overcoming the innate defect.
This pilot clinical study, published in Annals of the RheumaticDiseases, included 15 patients with persistently active lupusrefractory to standard medical treatment. The patients underwent stemcell transplantation. 13 of them were followed for over a year afterthe treatment.
After transplantation, all patients showed clinical improvement,measured by disease activity score and a set of clinical parameters.After one year of follow-up, 11 patients continued having a decreaseddisease activity while on minimal treatment.
These recent primary findings may lead the way to a new promisingtreatment approach in patients with lupus, as well as in otherautoimmune diseases.
Source:  Ann Rheum Dis 2010;69:1423-1429.
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