New Study Examines Predictors of Renal Flares in People with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Treated with Belimumab
In a new study, researchers looked to identify predictors and circumstances that lead to renalflares in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) taking belimumab (Benlysta®). They found that a history of renal involvement, high baseline levels of proteinuria, low levels of albumin (a protein that helps transport fluids throughout the body), and C3 (a protein associated with inflammation) consumption were key determinants for predicting renal flares.
This study included 3,225 participants with moderate to severe SLE from four clinical trials. Individuals were assigned to belimumab or the placebo, in addition to their standard therapy. Demographic, clinical and laboratory test measures, serological markers, and proteinuria were examined as potential predictors of renal flares. Researchers found:
- High levels of proteinuria, history of nephritis, low levels of albumin and complement protein 3 (C3) levels at baseline were strong predictors of renal flares.
- Individuals taking immunosuppressants (mycophenolate mofetil or sodium) showed an increased risk for renal flare development.
- Anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm and anti-ribosomal P protein antibodies may be useful biomarkers of renal SLE.
While this study suggests belimumab may be a useful add-on treatment for SLE, further studies are needed to examine predictive properties and biomarkers for renal disease. Learn more about managing and preventing flares.