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Another Cancer Drug Turned on Lupus

A research team at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany have found that (yet) another drug designed to fight cancer may also be applicable for lupus.   It makes no difference, of course, but in this case even I can see the logic for the idea.

The drug "Velcade" was developed by U.S. biotech  Millennium Pharmaceuticals to treat patients with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells. It happens that as part of it's M.O. the drug, known generically as bortezomib, blocks autoantibody production.  That rings a big bell in the lupus arena.

The research team tested Velcade on two strains of mice with, as they say, "lupus-like disease" and they showed that it did, indeed, block autoantibody production and it prolonged the lives of the mice.  Because of this result the team suggests in the journal Nature Medicine that Velcade may also fight systemic lupus erythematosus and that "careful clinical studies should be initiated."  

Like, duh!   

Posted June 8, 2008 Permalink