New Study Finds Belimumab Improves Cutaneous Lupus After At Least 20 Weeks of Use
A new study finds that belimumab (Benlysta®) is an effective therapy option for people with cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE), a form of lupus that affects the skin. This study highlights that belimumab treatment can achieve meaningful results with at least 20 weeks of use and should not be discontinued prematurely.
Researchers analyzed 14 studies that examined the efficacy of people with CLE with or without systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) receiving belimumab. They found that those using belimumab had nearly 50% lower odds of experiencing a severe cutaneous (skin) flare compared to non-users after one year of use. Additionally, the improvement of CLE manifestations (symptoms or signs of a disease) of belimumab users was associated with significant improvements in emotional and mental health.
Belimumab is approved for treatment of SLE. It is generally not used as the first line of therapy for CLE. The findings of the study support belimumab as an effective biologic for patients with CLE, but further studies are needed to look at efficacy across CLE subtypes. Learn more about cutaneous lupus.