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11-12-2018 | Systemic lupus erythematosus | Article

New therapeutic strategies in systemic lupus erythematosus management

Nature Reviews Rheumatology

Authors: Mariele Gatto, Margherita Zen, Luca Iaccarino, Andrea Doria

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group UK


The current treatment approach for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as outlined in the recommendations by international medical associations including EULAR and the ACR, is mostly eminence-based rather than evidence-based. However, knowledge on SLE is growing quickly, and such new advances need to be translated into clinical practice. Questions remain regarding the choice and timing of drug administration and tapering until withdrawal, which both can affect the balance between the control of disease activity and damage to organs triggered by long-standing and/or disproportionate immunosuppression. Currently, the treating physicians of patients with SLE are required to weigh the present with the future situation of their patients in an optimized balance between therapeutic harm and benefit. In this Review, the available therapeutic strategies and main challenges in the approach to SLE treatment are discussed. Remission and low disease activity are desirable therapeutic goals. Although the drug armamentarium for SLE has not expanded much in the past few decades, there are nonetheless opportunities to make better choices and explore combination therapies; such opportunities offer the potential of a personalized medicine strategy.

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