Fertility Preserved in Women With Severe Lupus
Ovarian function can be preserved and disease activity controlled in women with severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; lupus) when treated with a 6-month course of cyclophosphamide (CYC), a chemotherapy drug, followed by the immunosuppressant mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), according to a new study presented at the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism.
Lupus is most common among women and, although long-term survival has dramatically improved over time with better diagnosis and treatment options, one of the challenges in managing the disease is to minimize the side-effects of treatments such as the disruption of ovarian function and risks to fertility. Pulsed intravenous CYC is a standard therapy for SLE but may also be associated with ovarian failure in addition to other adverse effects.
Dr. Katerina Laskari, the presenting author of the study, led by Professor Athanasios G. Tzioufas in the Department of Pathophysiology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, said: "Although the prognosis for people with SLE has considerably improved over the years, a patient's quality of life can all too often be seriously impaired by the toxicity of many commonly used treatments. Preserving ovarian function is a very important consideration in treating women with SLE of child-bearing age, who are already burdened by the difficult nature and impact of the disease itself."
This article was adapted from a press release issued by EULAR.