New therapy treats autoimmune disease without harming normal immunity


Well-Known Member
now this is really good news! cause up until now, autoimmune disease has been treated by agressively supressing the entire immune system.

this makes the disease stop harming you, but you tend to get infection upon infection because your immune system is deactivated. so OK, you're not symptomatic from your primary disease anymore, but is your quality of life that much better when you're constantly having, say, upper respiratory infections and catch every single flu virus flying around?

In a study with potentially major implications for the future treatment of autoimmunity and related conditions, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found a way to remove the subset of antibody-making cells that cause an autoimmune disease, without harming the rest of the immune system.

The autoimmune disease the team studied is called pemphigus vulgaris (PV), a condition in which a patient's own immune cells attack a protein called desmoglein-3 (Dsg3) that normally adheres skin cells.

Current therapies for autoimmune disease, such as prednisone and rituximab, suppress large parts of the immune system, leaving patients vulnerable to potentially fatal opportunistic infections and cancers.

"This is a powerful strategy for targeting just autoimmune cells and sparing the good immune cells that protect us from infection," said co-senior author Aimee S. Payne, MD, PhD, the Albert M. Kligman Associate Professor of Dermatology.

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