Systemic lupus erythematosus--2005 annus mirabilis?

Nat Clin Pract Rheumatol. 2006 Mar;2(3):145-52. doi: 10.1038/ncprheum0116.


We are about to enter a new era in the treatment of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). For the past 40 years hydroxychloroquine sulfate and corticosteroids, together with varying combinations of immunosuppressive drugs, have been the main treatments for SLE. Although effective for many patients, some patients fail to respond to these drugs and even more suffer from major side effects due to the generalized nature of the immunosuppression. In this article we review the remarkable confluence of new therapies ranging from newer immunosuppressive drugs with fewer side effects, such as mycophenolate mofetil, to the more targeted approaches offered by biological agents. These agents have been designed to block molecules such as CD20, CD22 and interleukin-10 that are thought to have an integral part in the development of SLE. This wolf might not yet be about to become extinct but its survival is increasingly under threat!

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppression*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy*
  • Rheumatology / trends*


  • Cytokines
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunosuppressive Agents