Wednesday, March 6, 2019

from mice to men: wiping out lupus

In Science Magazine, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel reports that there is research currently going on in regards to genetically engineering immune cells to get rid of lupus. One of the experiments tested 41 mice that had lupus. All mice who were sick were then radiated to get rid of all their immune cells and then injected with these genetically altered cells. They found that of the 41 mice, 26 were completely rid of lupus and continued with a healthy life a little longer than their normal life span. The mice who received placebos all died sooner than their normal life span.
The gentically engineered cells are used to destroy B cells. The therapy is called CAR-T therapy because CAR-T cells are the ones that are coming in to destroy the B cells. This therapy is already in use with cancer patients. The more use they find for this therapy the better. Although, some patients with lupus can live a semi normal healthy life however, the ones that don't can have kidney failure or some other deathly complications. Upon further research, if this therapy were to work for humans as it does for mice and cancer patients already, it would be a huge step for patients with this stubborn disease.

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