New Hope for Treatment of Lupus on the Rise

Sep 16, 2011, 21:08 ET from RNL BIO

GERMAN TOWN, Md., Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With a patient's own adult stem cells, there is new hope for the intractable autoimmune disease lupus - systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) - which is difficult to cure.

RNL BIO's research team led by Dr. Jeong-Chan Ra collaborated with a research institute led by Dr. Eun-Hwa Choi from Samsung Bioscience Research Institute of Samsung Medical Center on a study on lupus using fat-derived stem cells. Through this study, it was confirmed that intravenous administration of adult stem cells restores lupus to normal bodily functions. The findings of this study were publicized in the famous global research journal, Arthritis and Rheumatism (Impact factor: 8.435) on September 15, 2011.

Model mice were injected with human fat stem cells intravenously in this study. These model mice demonstrated increased survival as well as improvement in clinical symptoms. Furthermore, a decrease in antinuclear antibodies were exhibited in these mice.

Stem cell treatment is more effective in early detection of lupus symptoms. These model mice were administered with stem cells repeatedly throughout the course of one year. Although human stem cells were given to these animals to suppress the immune system, no side effects appeared.

Lupus occurs in every 75 per 1 million people. There is no cure for SLE and symptoms can be controlled only temporarily through steroids or immunosuppressive drugs. This debilitating disease is painful and unbearable. Some patients with lupus have suicidal thoughts due to its life-threatening symptoms. Recently, a female patient with lupus who was known as the "joyful evangelist" committed suicide from the immense pain.

Dr. Jeong Chan Ra stated, "Based on this study, diseases that are difficult to treat, such as lupus have much potential to be treated through stem cell injection. We will further our research to find ways to cure chronic diseases."

Additional information regarding this study on stem cell treatment for lupus is available online (Arthritis & Rheumatism).