Research could help stop lupus flares before they start

Source: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation

A new discovery from scientists at OMRF could be used by physicians to predict and prevent lupus flares…Patients are often not aware when a disease flare is about to occur. This delays treatment and allows inflammation to persist, putting patients at risk for organ damage.

“We’re often reacting to a bad situation in the clinic, rather than preventing the next one,” said Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., head of OMRF’s Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program. “With this research, we hope we can identify the patients at the highest risk of flare and intervene earlier.”

In a new paper which will be published in the July issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, James and OMRF scientist Melissa Munroe, M.D., Ph.D., describe how a study of patients receiving an influenza vaccine led to a method that might predict flares in a clinical setting….The discovery will help physicians move closer to tailored therapies for patients, but it could also have a potential benefit for clinical trials, she said. One challenge in testing new medications for lupus is discerning if a lack of disease activity is due to a drug’s effects or other factors.