NET-ting the autoreactive B cell memory by therapeutically targeting the humoral autoimmunity in patients with SLE

Objectives of the Project

Patients with SLE typically have circulating autoantibodies against DNA as a result of a humoral (auto-)immune response. The research project intends to  comprehensively study the pathophysiology of the humoral autoimmune response in SLE patients. To do so, we intend to establish an in-depth understanding of the origins of SLE-specifi c autoantibodies in a unique
cohort of SLE patients who are treated with new biological therapies specifi cally targeted
at the formation of autoantibodies.

Facts and Figures

Project Lead
Dr. Y K O Teng
UMC Leiden
FOREUM research grant: € 300.000
April 2016, Duration 3 years

Meet the Team

Dr. Y K O Teng
UMC Leiden
Dr L van Dam
UMC Leiden
Prof. R Voll
Albert Ludwig University Freiburg
Prof. D Isenberg
University College London

Patient Voice

The experimental nature of our research proposal limits the potential contribution of patient research partners. It is however noteworthy that patient representatives are involved in the separate clinical trials at each collaborating centre which investigate therapeutic strategies that specifically target humoral autoimmunity.

Interim Results

We have identified 38 refractory SLE patients with renal involvement who were treated with experimental treamtment regimens (i.e. rituximab, bortezomib or combination rituximab + belimumab). We are well on our way to perform in-depth analyses in these patients which eventually will inform us if and how these novel treatments influence the formation of autoantibodies in SLE patients.