PicnicHealth has worked with numerous people who suffer serious or chronic diseases. In their everyday lives, they often undergo treatments, take medication, and follow strict medical regimens to try to manage their health as effectively as possible. Patients who suffer from diseases that don’t yet have a cure in the medical community hold on to hope that a cure could be found in the future. Or, at the very least, they hope that new developments and treatments may be discovered to improve the quality of their lives and that of other sufferers of the disease.
One such chronic disease is lupus, a condition that affects 1.5 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide, primarily women. Many people who don’t have lupus may have heard of the disease thanks to high profile individuals who also have the condition and promote awareness of it. Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Toni Braxton are just some of them.
But what is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, the body’s white blood cells protect it from foreign intruders, such as viruses and bacteria. However, when a person has an autoimmune disease, those defenders of the body end up attacking healthy cells and tissue within the body, causing inflammation or damage. In the case of lupus, the disease causes inflammation and pain through any area of the body. It commonly affects a person’s joints, skin, and internal organs.
Lupus has a range of symptoms because it can affect just about any part of the body. It’s common among women aged 15 to 44 and can develop in any race or ethnicity. A person can’t “catch” lupus or give it to someone else. Still, there’s no cure for this disease, triggering a lifelong regime of treatment to control the symptoms.
New Advancements in Lupus
Even though there’s no cure as of yet, doctors are still researching how a person can develop lupus as well as other ways to improve treatment to minimize symptoms and keep the disease in remission for longer periods of time.
According to experts, 2019 was a banner year for developing drugs that will help treat lupus. Two potential new treatments have reported some promising and positive results that made the researchers hopeful for progress.
Some of them are:
- The drug belimumab (brand name Benlysta) met its targets at Phase 3 of testing and has now been approved for the treatment of mild to moderate lupus. One of the other trials suggests that it may be useful for lupus nephritis, which affects the kidney as well.
- Voclosporin is another promising medical breakthrough for treating the same kind of lupus. The drug studies have met the primary and secondary endpoints for complete remission.
- Anifromlumab is now at its phase 3 of trials as well. This is a drug that aims to treat moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus. This drug could pave the way to even better treatment for the worst sufferers of the disease.
- Finally, the drug BIIB059, which was developed for the treatment of cutaneous and systemic lupus erythematosus, has demonstrated remarkable effectiveness in reducing the activity of the disease in afflicted individuals. Patients even noted improvements in skin conditions and overall disease activity.
These new drugs and treatments are the work of intensive study in the field of lupus research. The fact that many of them have shown promise, especially so recently, shows potential that great strides may be made in the treatment of this disease. Sooner rather than later, people who suffer from different types of lupus could have better medical care and treatment, leading to better lives.
Part of understanding and finding better treatments for lupus is through the careful study of patient records and tests. PicnicHealth makes it easier to get your complete medical records to aid in managing lupus. PicnicHealth also supports research on lupus by structuring real-world evidence datasets from anonymized medical records of real people living with lupus in the real world. Visit PicnicHealth.com to sign up for a free PicnicHealth account if you have lupus.