Author(s): Macdermott EJ, Adams A, Lehman TJ
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Abstract Treatment of children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is challenging. The therapeutic issues and risks and balances faced by adult patients are further complicated by an unpredictable disease course and long requirement for therapy in children with SLE. Further, non-compliance is a major obstacle to satisfactory outcome which must be recognized and dealt with in every adolescent in our efforts to attain optimal outcome. Treatment with combinations of cytotoxic agents and biologics which result in significant B-cell depletion often provide improved disease control. As our knowledge of the pathogenesis of SLE delineates more specific targets for immunotherapy the incidence of long-term remission rises. Our current emphasis is on therapeutic regimens which will induce remission followed by maintenance therapy in the oncologic model. SLE like neoplastic disease is no longer simply 'treatable'. With appropriate therapy many children with SLE attain sustained remissions. In the foreseeable future childhood SLE may be curable.
This article was published in Lupus
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health