Certain Biomarkers May Identify Response to Kidney Disease Treatment in People with Lupus Nephritis
New research by Lupus Foundation of America Gary S. Gilkeson Career Development Awardee Laura Whittall, MD, links the presence of a potential biomarker (surrogate marker for inflammatory cells activation) found in serum, to treatment response in people with active lupus nephritis (LN).
A group of people with lupus were evaluated, including 47 with active lupus and 20 with inactive lupus. Those with active lupus had higher blood levels of Elastase-DNA NET complexes – a sign of increased immune system activity. Furthermore, the levels of this complex were higher in people with active LN compared to active lupus patients without kidney involvement.
The same analysis was then conducted in an independent group including a total of 113 patients that were just diagnosed with active LN (within 3 months). The levels of Elastase-DNA complexes were higher in patients who did not respond to treatment after 2 years.
Lupus kidney disease may affect up to 65% of patients with lupus, unfortunately, 30% will not respond to treatment and develop impaired kidney function, with 15% requiring dialysis or transplantation. Achieving a complete response to treatment is critical for preserving long-term kidney function but predicting who will respond to treatment is currently difficult. Whittall’s research could help improve outcomes by identifying earlier those people that may need more aggressive therapy. Learn more about Whittall and her research efforts.