Lupus nephritis and ANCA-associated vasculitis: towards precision medicine?

Link to article at PubMed

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2021 Jun 22;36(Supplement_2):37-43. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfab166.


Historically the treatment of lupus nephritis (LN) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis was 'one size fits all'; however, with the emergence of precision medicine initiatives, the field is moving towards more personalized treatment approaches. The recent development of a more accurate and reproducible histopathological classification system for LN could lead to better disease categorization and therefore more targeted therapies. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of LN has provided evidence that not only T but also B cells play an important role, opening new opportunities for individualized treatment approaches. Recent trials have shown calcineurin inhibitors and the anti-CD20 antibodies rituximab and ofatumumab to be effective in the treatment of LN, adding new treatment options. State-of-the-art targeted therapy in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) takes interindividual heterogeneity in disease severity, type of ANCA antibody [myeloperoxidase versus proteinase 3 (PR3)] and the risk for side effects of therapy into consideration. In addition, within an individual, induction therapy differs from maintenance therapy, the same holding true in incident and relapsing disease. Rituximab is now widely used in AAV and it has become clear that prolonged B cell depletion, as in LN, must be achieved to obtain a long-lasting clinical response, especially in anti-PR3-associated disease. Still, despite these advances, molecular and genetic markers are rarely incorporated into diagnostic and treatment algorithms and true precision medicine remains an aspiration that hopefully can be achieved.

PMID:34153980 | DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfab166

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