Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rituximab shows promise for clinical problems tied to antiphospholipid antibodies

Date:
November 20, 2012
Source:
Hospital for Special Surgery
Summary:
Rituximab, a drug used to treat cancer and arthritis, may help patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) who suffer from aPL-related clinical problems that do not respond to anticoagulation, according to a new study.

Rituximab, a drug used to treat cancer and arthritis, may help patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) who suffer from aPL-related clinical problems that do not respond to anticoagulation, such as cardiac disease and kidney disease, according to a new study by rheumatology researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery. The study appears online in November, ahead of print, in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

"This is the first study to systematically analyze rituximab in aPL-positive patients. Rituximab may have a role in treating a subgroup of aPL patients," said Doruk Erkan, M.D., senior author of the study, and an associate attending rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

For years, researchers have known that aPLs can increase the production of certain proteins that can cause inflammation and the formation of clots. While some aPL-positive individuals are perfectly healthy, others are classified as having antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and have venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis or fetal loss. Patients with so-called "non-criteria APS manifestations" can have low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), cardiac valve disease, skin ulcers, kidney disease (aPL-nephropathy), and/or memory problems (cognitive dysfunction).

Previously, researchers have shown that B-cells, a type of white blood cell, secrete aPLs and that eliminating B-cells can prevent the development of APS in mice. A number of case reports have suggested that some patients with APS may respond to rituximab. This drug, which can destroy B-cells, is currently used in patients with leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis. "The idea is if you kill the inflammatory B-cells, they can not secrete antiphospholipid antibodies that cause problems," Dr. Erkan explained.

In the current Phase II pilot trial, researchers recruited 19 aPL-positive patients with thrombocytopenia, cardiac valve disease, skin ulcers, aPL-nephropathy, and/or cognitive dysfunction. Patients were given two doses of 1,000 mg rituximab on days one and 15. Investigators measured aPL profiles and clinical outcome measures at baseline, at day 30, and then monthly up to six months.

At 24 weeks, several patients had improved outcomes. Of the five patients with cognitive dysfunction, three had a complete response and one had a partial response. Of the four patients with thrombocytopenia, one had a complete response and another had a partial response. Of the five patients with skin ulcers, three had complete responses and one had a partial response. One of the two patients with aPL-nephropathy had a partial response. None of the three patients with cardiac valve disease had a response. The antiphospholipid antibody profiles of all the patients, however, did not change throughout the study.

"Why is there a response in some patients without decreasing aPL titers?" said Dr. Erkan. "The answer for that is B-cells are very complex; they not only secrete aPL, but they also participate in the immune response by helping other inflammatory cells." In other words, they may be shutting the aPL effect down through other channels.

The authors say that rituximab may offer a potential treatment option for some non-criteria APS manifestations. This is good news, because while anticoagulation therapies can treat some of the complications seen in APS patients, they are not helpful in treating the non-criteria APS manifestations. "The low platelet counts, destruction of red blood cells causing anemia, kidney disease, memory problems, and cardiac heart valve disease do not usually respond to anticoagulation therapy," said Dr. Erkan.

"Our future goal is confirming our results with a randomized controlled trial, and we also need to try to identify which patients will respond to rituximab. We need to find the predictors of response," said Dr. Erkan.

Other authors of the study include Michael Lockshin, M.D., Joann Vega and Glendalee Ramon, all from Hospital for Special Surgery, and Elizabeth Kozora, Ph.D., who is an adjunct scientist at HSS and both professor, Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, and professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Colorado Denver Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hospital for Special Surgery. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Doruk Erkan, Joann Vega, Glendalee Ramon, Elizabeth Kozora, Michael D. Lockshin. A pilot open label phase II trial of rituximab for non-criteria manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/art.37759

Cite This Page:

Hospital for Special Surgery. "Rituximab shows promise for clinical problems tied to antiphospholipid antibodies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120100132.htm>.
Hospital for Special Surgery. (2012, November 20). Rituximab shows promise for clinical problems tied to antiphospholipid antibodies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120100132.htm
Hospital for Special Surgery. "Rituximab shows promise for clinical problems tied to antiphospholipid antibodies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120100132.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins