Lupus Research is Exciting!
It might be hard to feel positive about lupus, but innovative lupus research is worth getting excited about. The Lupus Research Institute (LRI) held a scientific conference for non-scientists this October called Advancing Lupus Care through Research and Advocacy. If you missed it, I encourage you to watch the videos on our YouTube page.
The many new discoveries in lupus research benefit people with lupus as scientists work to find better treatments. As I always say, knowledge is power, and learning about this work not only makes you more informed, but more hopeful about the future of how lupus will be managed.
Below are a few things I learned from each part of the conference. But watch the videos in order to get all of the information. It is fascinating!
New Treatments for Lupus Nephritis
Joshua Thurman, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine
- Blood and urine tests and kidney biopsies are used to diagnose and monitor kidney disease, but they do not tell us enough.
- Researchers are in the process of trying to develop a treatment that blocks a protein called Annexin A2 that causes disease activity in the kidneys of people with lupus. If they are able to develop this treatment, it would be a safer drug with less side effects.
Your Microbiome and SLE
Gregg Silverman, MD, NYU School of Medicine
- There are over 1000 species of bacteria in the human body – a complex ecosystem called the microbiome. And we need them.
- Researchers are looking into whether it is possible that an imbalance in the microbiome contributes to triggering lupus and flares.
LRxL Stat – Repurposing Existing Drugs for Lupus
Amrie Grammer, PhD, AMPEL BioSolutions
- On average, it takes over 13 years and $1.78 Billion to bring new drugs to patients – and only 9 percent are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients.
- The Lupus Research Institute is collaborating with the Alliance for Lupus Research on a project called LRxL Stat to bring new and safer treatment to patients much more quickly.
- LRxL STAT is researching whether drugs that have already been approved by the FDA for other diseases can be used for lupus.
Connect and communicate with the project on LinkedIn! They are seeking more patient voices from the lupus community.
The Power of Advocacy to Transform Care
Diane Gross, MPH, S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and Lupus Research Institute
- Patients and their friends and family can be effective lupus advocates.
- The three advocacy goals of the LRI are 1) to increase federal research funding, 2) reduce healthcare disparities to improve access to care, and 3) to help make sure everyone with lupus can afford quality treatment and the health-related services they need.
- You can help advocate for these goals in your community by visiting the Legislative Action Center on the LRI website.
I encourage you to watch the complete conference on video. Not only do you get to learn about some of the latest research happening in lupus, you can learn about how to become a lupus advocate and make a positive impact on the lupus community.