Lupus is an autoimmune illness that can cause damage to the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys, which is potentially fatal. An innovative treatment that employs genetically modified cells to put an autoimmune ailment into remission has been successfully tested on five patients suffering from severe forms of the condition for the first time in the world. The five patients, four women and one male ranged in age from 18 to 24, were treated for severe lupus with transfusions of modified immune cells. All five patients could achieve remission of their lupus symptoms as a direct result of the treatment. Patients have lived from three to seventeen months without taking lupus treatment. The treatment’s apparent success gives medical professionals a reason to have optimism regarding treating other autoimmune illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Autoantibodies are produced when B lymphocytes in a person with lupus divide and produce autoantibodies. These autoantibodies target healthy tissues rather than protect the body from invading pathogens. In the most recent study, the researchers obtained T-cells from lupus patients and changed them so that when re-infused into the patients, they attacked the B cells of the patients (Luo et al. 107028). According to the findings of the study published in Nature Medicine, the treatment effectively eliminated the abnormal B cells present in the patients and significantly improved their condition (Luo et al. 107028). The condition impacted numerous organs in each of the five patients. However, after receiving the treatment, severe symptoms such as arthritis, weariness, fibrosis of the heart valves, and inflammation of the lungs were completely eradicated.
CAR T-cell therapy was used to treat five seriously ill patients in Germany after earlier treatments were unsuccessful in improving the patient’s symptoms. Since its introduction in 2015, when it was tested for the first time on a leukemia patient, this strategy has been effective in the fight against various tumors. The patient’s T-cells, an essential part of the immune system, are removed from the body, modified, and then reintroduced into the body as part of the CAR T-cell therapy procedure. It causes the patient’s T-cells to attack new targets, such as cancer cells.
Luo, Shuaihantian, et al. “Recent Advances in Understanding Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Strategies of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.” International Immunopharmacology, vol. 89, 2020, p. 107028.