Lupus can be unpredictable, with symptoms that physicians frequently mistake for other illnesses. Since the condition causes the immune system to attack its organs and tissues, it can affect any area in the body, including the skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, joints, and lungs. While some patients are more likely to develop lupus, the cause is unknown in most cases. However, regardless of the cause, treatments can help to manage symptoms. Here we will discuss what you need to know about Regenerative Medicine for Lupus!
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic or long-term autoimmune disease that can affect any body area. The signs and symptoms of lupus vary widely, depending on the organs or tissues that the immune system attacks. Most patients with lupus experience some of the disease’s most common indications, which include:
- Joint pain, swelling, or stiffness
- A butterfly-shaped rash on the face
- Skin lesions
- Shortness of breath
- Dry eyes
Since each case of lupus presents differently, patients often struggle to receive a diagnosis. In addition, lupus often causes flare-ups, where the symptoms worsen for some time before improving or disappearing.
The severity of lupus and the health conditions resulting from the disease depends on the system attacked during a flare-up.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine aims to manage a condition’s root cause rather than manage its symptoms. By combining biology and engineering principles, regenerative medicine develops new treatments focusing on replacing and repairing damaged cells, tissues, and organs.
How Can Regenerative Medicine Treat Lupus?
Lupus and other autoimmune diseases may benefit from stem cells that can help boost the body’s ability to fight inflammation and regulate the immune system.
The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) has funded a Phase II trial with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study adult stromal cells for treating moderate to severe lupus.
The study hopes to identify if stem cell therapy can lessen the long-term effects associated with lupus, reduce the need for medications, and stop the condition from damaging vital organs.
In the study’s Phase I trial, participants experienced significantly decreased lupus disease activity and sustained that reduction for 52 weeks. In addition, patients were able to reduce or maintain lower levels of steroids to manage their symptoms.
The Phase II trial will work with a much larger pool of patients in hopes of producing consistent results. As stem cell therapies and other regenerative medicine treatments continue to offer safe and effective results, those struggling with chronic conditions like lupus may finally find relief in this new blend of biology and engineering.