The Rheumatology Network lupus clinical focus page provides information on the latest lupus news, study and clinical trial findings, and clinical guideline updates. We feature expert interviews with leading physicians and investigators, articles, videos, podcasts, and breaking FDA approvals for systemic lupus erythematosus drugs.

Fatigue in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Linked to Anxiety and Depression

April 01, 2021

While some patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) find it beneficial to receive anti-inflammatory therapy to treat their fatigue, there is increasingly more evidence that chronic diseases increase risk of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression, which need to be treated differently.

Investigators Create Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Risk Probability Index (SLERPI) Diagnosis Tool

March 24, 2021

Currently, diagnosing a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex process that compares potential lupus with other conditions. It can be challenging and delayed by a period of time, which increases patient uncertainty, referrals, healthcare utilization, increased flares, and organ dysfunction. In this study, machine learning (ML) via artificial intelligence tools based on patient data was used to develop an algorithm to help with SLE diagnosis.

Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Events in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

March 05, 2021

Brian Skaggs, PhD, and Maureen McMahon, MD, sat down with Rheumatology Network to discuss the results of their longitudinal study, “A Panel of Biomarkers Associates With Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Events in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.”

Asthma and COPD Linked to Worse Outcomes for Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

February 24, 2021

Investigators explored the connection between patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and an increased risk of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which concurrently correlated with worse patient-reported outcomes (PROs) cross-sectionally.

If Remission Is Our Goal, Rheumatology Must Embrace the Importance of Studying New Mechanisms

January 25, 2021

Alyssa Johnsen, MD, PhD, shares her insight on the importance of understanding key pathways that drive immune-mediated diseases, which can help rheumatologists develop more potent and specific therapies for patients with rheumatic disease.

Trends in Long-Term Lupus Outcomes

January 11, 2021

The reviewers find persistent disease activity and flares despite progress to date. In addition, they point to the persistence of glucocorticoid treatment dependency, comorbidity burden, reduced health-related quality of life, and inconsistent access to high-quality care.

FDA Approves Belimumab as First Lupus Nephritis Drug in US

December 17, 2020

In this phase 3, 104-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, post-approval commitment study, Efficacy and Safety of Belimumab in Adult Patients with Active Lupus Nephritis (BLISS-LN) evaluated the efficacy and safety of intravenous BENLYSTA in conjunction with standard therapy and found that it was more effective than a placebo.

Patient Perspectives in Lupus

December 04, 2020

In today's interview, our focus is on patient perspectives. During the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting last month, Juana Mata shared her story of a life living with lupus. Getting an accurate diagnosis wasn't easy, but eventually she found a doctor and treatment that's working for her. In today's interview, Kim Gorgens, a psychologist and Rheumatology Network board member interviews Juana and her sister, Estela, who describe turning a lupus diagnosis into a positive force for change through advocacy. The sisters have created a non-profit group called Looms for Lupus in which they embrace art therapy to relieve stress.

Lupus Patient Perspectives: Self Advocacy

December 01, 2020

In this episode of Overdrive, the Rheumatology Network podcast, Dr. Kim Gorgens interviews two sisters who've turned a negative healthcare experience into a positive force for change in the lupus community through advocacy. They shared their story during the Patient Perspectives session at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology which was held last month. In this interview, they share their story with Dr. Gorgens.

ACR Takes Steps to Close the Gap in Lupus Care

October 30, 2020

The American College of Rheumatology has launched a project designed to resolve inequities in care for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, a condition that is two or three times more common among ethnic minorities. In this interview, S. Sam Lim, M.D., MPH, chair of ACR’s Collaborative Initiatives Special Committee, tells us more about the project.

Belimumab Improves Renal Outcomes in Lupus Nephritis

October 29, 2020

Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents are the two primary classes of drugs used to treat lupus nephritis. Now, a new study shows that the addition of the monoclonal antibody belimumab to standard therapy may make a meaningful difference in this hard-to-treat patient population.

COVID Deaths Are High Among Waitlisted Kidney Transplant Patients

October 29, 2020

Although mortality rates for kidney transplant recipients with COVID-19 are known to be high, end stage kidney disease patients with COVID-19 appear to have a higher risk of mortality than patients with new kidneys.

New Treatment for Lupus Nephritis Advances to Phase III

October 28, 2020

A possible new treatment for advanced lupus nephritis passes a phase two trial, according to a study presented at Kidney Week, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nephrology. The treatment, a CD20 antagonist called obinutuzumab, led to improvements in 41 percent of patients with lupus nephritis—a condition that affects one in 60 people with systemic lupus.