Immune drug helps patients with serious kidney disorder

July 19, 2012, American Society of Nephrology

A drug commonly used to treat immune disorders such as lymphoma and arthritis also benefits patients with an immune disorder of the kidneys that can lead to kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of new study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings could help people who are living with the condition, called idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN), avoid taking the potentially toxic medications that are currently prescribed to treat it.

Standard therapy for IMN includes nonspecific immunosuppression with steroids and other agents that do not work in all patients and can cause serious complications. Because the drug rituximab specifically targets involved in the development and progression of IMN, Piero Ruggenenti, MD, Giuseppe Remuzzi, MD, FRCP (Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research and Ospedali Riuniti, in Bergamo, Italy) and their colleagues tested its safety and effectiveness in 100 patients with IMN. The looked to see how many patients experienced complete or partial remission, based on the amount of protein excreted in the urine.

Among the major findings:

  • Over an average of 29 months, 65 out of the 100 patients taking rituximab treatment experienced remission of their disease. Twenty-seven of these patients achieved complete remission.
  • All patients with at least four years of follow-up achieved complete or partial remission, and their improved over time.
  • Rituximab was effective even when previous treatments with steroids and other had failed.
  • Patients tolerated rituximab well and experienced no treatment-related serious side effects throughout the entire study.
"Rituximab may lead to major progress in the treatment of patients with idiopathic , and in consideration of its excellent safety profile, it might replace other toxic regimens as first line treatment of this disease," said Dr. Remuzzi.

An added benefit of rituximab is that it can be administered in one single intravenous infusion on an outpatient basis, while courses of steroids and other drugs for IMN require at least six months of continued treatment and often cause patients to become hospitalized due to complications.

Explore further: Immune drug doesn't help kids with hard-to-treat kidney disorder

More information: The article, entitled "Rituximab in Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy: Longitudinal Study in 100 Patients," will appear online on July 19, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012020181

Related Stories

Immune drug doesn't help kids with hard-to-treat kidney disorder

May 10, 2012
The drug rituximab, an antibody that targets the immune system and is often used to treat immune disorders such as lymphoma and arthritis, has recently emerged as a potential treatment for a childhood kidney disorder known ...

Long-term rituximab safe for patients with wegener's

July 2, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Repeated and prolonged use of rituximab for B-cell depletion to treat relapses or maintain remission is safe and effective in patients with refractory granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA; Wegener's), a primary ...

Recommended for you

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.