Why targeted therapies are necessary for systemic lupus erythematosus

L. Durcan, M. Petri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) continues to have important morbidity and accelerated mortality despite therapeutic advances. Targeted therapies offer the possibility of improved efficacy with fewer side effects. Current management strategies rely heavily on nonspecific immunosuppressive agents. Prednisone, in particular, is responsible for a considerable burden of later organ damage. There are a multitude of diverse mechanisms of disease activity, immunogenic abnormalities and clinical manifestations to take into consideration in SLE. Many targeted agents with robust mechanistic preclinical data and promising early phase studies have ultimately been disappointing in phase III, randomized, controlled studies. Recent efforts have focused on B-cell therapies, in particular given the success of belimumab in clinical trials, with limited success. We remain optimistic regarding other specific therapies being evaluated, including interferon-alpha blockade. It is likely that in SLE, given the heterogeneity of the population involved, precision medicine is needed, rather than expecting that any single biologic will be universally effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1079
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • SLE
  • current treatments
  • mechanisms of disease
  • targeted therapy
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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