ACR: Vitamin D Beneficial in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

And, interferon-α-kinoid immunization is safe, shows promise for SLE

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), vitamin D supplementation is beneficial and modulates T regulatory cells (Tregs); and immunization with interferon-α-kinoid (IFNα-K) is safe and shows positive results for patients with SLE, according to two studies being presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Nov. 5 to 9 in Chicago.

Benjamin Terrier, M.D., from the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, and colleagues assessed the tolerance, immunologic, and clinical effects of vitamin D supplementation in SLE for 20 patients with hypovitaminosis D. Patients were assessed at day zero, at month two, and at month six. Supplementation was safe with no hypercalcemia or lithiasis. Supplementation increased the percentage of both naive and active Tregs. There was also an increase in expression of molecules associated with Treg suppression.

Frédéric A. Houssiau, M.D., Ph.D., from the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium and colleagues assessed the safety and immunogenicity of 30, 60, 120, or 240 mg of intramuscular IFNα-K in 28 patients with mild and moderate SLE. The safety profile was favorable with few minor and transient local and systemic reactions noted. Lupus flares were seen in one patient in the treatment group who stopped glucocorticoid therapy after the first dose of IFNα-K, and one patient in the placebo group. All immunized patients had a dose-related anti-IFNα antibody response, with a peak after the last dose and decrease thereafter.

"This is the first study to show positive immune and pharmacodynamic results with active immunotherapy against interferon-α in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus," Houssiau and colleagues write.

Several of the study authors from the Houssiau study disclosed financial ties to Neovacs.

Press Release - Terrier
Press Release - Houssiau
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