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Vaccination updates and special considerations for systemic lupus erythematosus patients

Law, Jammie; Sorrento, Cristina; Saxena, Amit
PURPOSE OF REVIEW/OBJECTIVE:We review the latest guidelines and note special considerations for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients when approaching vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, influenza, pneumococcus, herpes zoster, and potentially respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine in the future. RECENT FINDINGS/RESULTS:SLE patients have unique infectious risks due to newer treatments and the nature of the disease itself. It is important to balance the benefit of additional protective immunity from updated vaccines against the possible risk of disease activity exacerbations. SUMMARY/CONCLUSIONS:It is important to continuously evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of updated vaccines specifically for SLE patients. Additionally, the newly approved RSV vaccine should be considered for this population to reduce severe respiratory illness.
PMID: 37976046
ISSN: 1531-6963
CID: 5610522

Mycophenolate mofetil withdrawal in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial

Chakravarty, Eliza F; Utset, Tammy; Kamen, Diane L; Contreras, Gabriel; McCune, W Joseph; Aranow, Cynthia; Kalunian, Kenneth; Massarotti, Elena; Clowse, Megan E B; Rovin, Brad H; Lim, S Sam; Majithia, Vikas; Dall'Era, Maria; Looney, R John; Erkan, Doruk; Saxena, Amit; Olsen, Nancy J; Ko, Kichul; Guthridge, Joel M; Goldmuntz, Ellen; Springer, Jessica; D'Aveta, Carla; Keyes-Elstein, Lynette; Barry, Bill; Pinckney, Ashley; McNamara, James; James, Judith A
BACKGROUND:Mycophenolate mofetil is an immunosuppressant commonly used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis. It is a known teratogen associated with significant toxicities, including an increased risk of infections and malignancies. Mycophenolate mofetil withdrawal is desirable once disease quiescence is reached, but the timing of when to do so and whether it provides a benefit has not been well-studied. We aimed to determine the effects of mycophenolate mofetil withdrawal on the risk of clinically significant disease reactivation in patients with quiescent SLE on long-term mycophenolate mofetil therapy. METHODS:This multicenter, open-label, randomised trial was conducted in 19 centres in the USA. Eligible patients were aged between 18 and 70 years old, met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 1997 SLE criteria, and had a clinical SLEDAI score of less than 4 at screening. Mycophenolate mofetil therapy was required to be stable or decreasing for 2 years or more if initiated for renal indications, or for 1 year or more for non-renal indications. Participants were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to a withdrawal group, who tapered off mycophenolate mofetil over 12 weeks, or a maintenance group who maintained their baseline dose (1-3g per day) for 60 weeks. Adaptive random allocation ensured groups were balanced for study site, renal versus non-renal disease, and baseline mycophenolate mofetil dose (≥2 g per day vs <2 g per day). Clinically significant disease reactivation by week 60 following random allocation, requiring increased doses or new immunosuppressive therapy was the primary endpoint, in the modified intention-to-treat population (all randomly allocated participants who began study-provided mycophenolate mofetil). Non-inferiority was evaluated using an estimation-based approach. The trial was registered at (NCT01946880) and is completed. FINDINGS/RESULTS:Between Nov 6, 2013, and April 27, 2018, 123 participants were screened, of whom 102 were randomly allocated to the maintenance group (n=50) or the withdrawal group (n=52). Of the 100 participants included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis (49 maintenance, 51 withdrawal), 84 (84%) were women, 16 (16%) were men, 40 (40%) were White, 41 (41%) were Black, and 76 (76%) had a history of lupus nephritis. The average age was 42 (SD 12·7). By week 60, nine (18%) of 51 participants in the withdrawal group had clinically significant disease reactivation, compared to five (10%) of 49 participants in the maintenance group. The risk of clinically significant disease reactivation was 11% (95% CI 5-24) in the maintenance group and 18% (10-32) in the withdrawal group. The estimated increase in the risk of clinically significant disease reactivation with mycophenolate mofetil withdrawal was 7% (one-sided upper 85% confidence limit 15%). Similar rates of adverse events were observed in the maintenance group (45 [90%] of 50 participants) and the withdrawal group (46 [88%] of 52 participants). Infections were more frequent in the mycophenolate mofetil maintenance group (32 [64%]) compared with the withdrawal group (24 [46%]). INTERPRETATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:Mycophenolate mofetil withdrawal is not significantly inferior to mycophenolate mofetil maintenance. Estimates for the rates of disease reactivation and increases in risk with withdrawal can assist clinicians in making informed decisions on withdrawing mycophenolate mofetil in patients with stable SLE. FUNDING/BACKGROUND:The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
PMID: 38301682
ISSN: 2665-9913
CID: 5626762

A path to Glucocorticoid Stewardship: a critical review of clinical recommendations for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus

Bertsias, George; Askanase, Anca; Doria, Andrea; Saxena, Amit; Vital, Edward M
Glucocorticoids (GCs) have revolutionized the management of SLE, providing patients with rapid symptomatic relief and preventing flares when maintained at low dosages. However, there are increasing concerns over GC-associated adverse effects (AEs) and organ damage, which decrease patients' quality of life (QOL) and increase healthcare costs. This highlights the need to balance effective GC use and minimize toxicity in patients with SLE. Herein, we provide an overview of the theoretical considerations and clinical evidence, in addition to the variations and similarities across nine national and eight international recommendations regarding the use of GCs across SLE manifestations and how these compare with real-world usage. In line with this, we propose possible actions toward the goal of GC Stewardship to improve the QOL for patients with lupus while managing the disease burden.
PMID: 38281071
ISSN: 1462-0332
CID: 5627722

Safety and efficacy of long-term voclosporin treatment for lupus nephritis in the Phase 3 AURORA 2 clinical trial

Saxena, Amit; Ginzler, Ellen M; Gibson, Keisha; Satirapoj, Bancha; Zuta Santillán, Adolfina Elizabeth; Levchenko, Olena; Navarra, Sandra; Atsumi, Tatsuya; Yasuda, Shinsuke; Chavez-Perez, Nilmo Noel; Arriens, Cristina; Parikh, Samir V; Caster, Dawn J; Birardi, Vanessa; Randhawa, Simrat; Lisk, Laura; Huizinga, Robert B; Teng, Y K Onno
OBJECTIVE:AURORA 2 evaluated the long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of voclosporin compared to placebo in patients with lupus nephritis (LN) receiving an additional two years of treatment following completion of the one-year AURORA 1 study. METHODS:Enrolled patients continued their double-blinded treatment of voclosporin or placebo randomly assigned in AURORA 1, in combination with mycophenolate mofetil and low-dose glucocorticoids. The primary objective was safety assessed with adverse events (AEs), biochemical and hematological assessments. Efficacy was measured by renal response. RESULTS:(95% CI -8.4, -2.3) in the control group. Improved proteinuria persisted across three years of treatment leading to more frequent complete renal responses in voclosporin-treated patients (50.9% vs 39.0%; odds ratio 1.74; 95% CI 1.00, 3.03). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Data demonstrate the safety and efficacy of long-term voclosporin treatment over 3 years of follow-up in patients with LN.
PMID: 37466424
ISSN: 2326-5205
CID: 5535772

Clinical implications of discordance between anti-dsDNA antibodies by multiplex flow immunoassay and Crithidia luciliae assay in a multiethnic racial cohort of patients with SLE

Zaminski, Devyn; Saxena, Amit; Izmirly, Peter; Buyon, Jill P; Belmont, H Michael
OBJECTIVE:immunofluorescence test (CLIFT). To address the clinical impact of measuring these antibodies by two different assays, this study leveraged a well-phenotyped multiethnic/racial cohort. METHODS:All patients fulfilled the classification criteria for SLE by at least one of the validated schemes: American College of Rheumatology, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus International Collaborating Clinics and/or American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism classification criteria. Patients with one or more simultaneously paired anti-dsDNA by multiplex EIA and CLIFT were identified. Analysis of concordance or discordance, titre comparability of assays and association with hybrid SLE Disease Activity Index score, prevalence of lupus nephritis (LN), ability to predict a flare and classification criteria was performed. RESULTS:207 patients were simultaneously tested by EIA and CLIFT at least once for anti-dsDNA, generating 586 paired results. 377 pairs were concordant and 209 were discordant. 41 of 207 patients always had discordant paired results and 39 patients always had results with titre discordance. In 100 patients with LN, 60 were positive by EIA and 72 by CLIFT. Sensitivities and specificities for patients with LN versus patients without LN were EIA 60% and 47%, and CLIFT 72% and 37%, respectively. 42 patients had flare assessment within 90 days of their paired result. Six of seven patients with mild flares and all four patients with severe flares had concordant positive results. CONCLUSION:Our data demonstrate that discordance of positivity between both assays for anti-dsDNA is relatively common, occurring in a fifth of patients overall and a third of visits. EIA positivity is associated with LN less often than CLIFT positivity. With the significant discordance of results between anti-dsDNA assays, obtaining both CLIFT and EIA assays may be beneficial for classification and routine monitoring of SLE.
PMID: 37963669
ISSN: 2053-8790
CID: 5610132

Knowledge is power: regarding SMFM Consult Series #64: Systemic lupus erythematosus in pregnancy [Editorial]

Cuneo, Bettina F; Buyon, Jill P; Sammaritano, Lisa; Jaeggi, Edgar; Arya, Bhawna; Behrendt, Nicholas; Carvalho, Julene; Cohen, Jennifer; Cumbermack, Kristopher; DeVore, Greggory; Doan, Tam; Donofrio, Mary T; Freud, Lindsay; Galan, Henry L; Groper, Melanie R F; Haxel, Caitlin; Hornberger, Lisa K; Howley, Lisa W; Izmirly, Peter; Killen, Stacy S; Kaplinski, Michelle; Krishnan, Anita; Lavasseur, Stephanie; Lindblade, Christopher; Matta, Jyothi; Makhoul, Majd; Miller, Jena; Morris, Shaine; Paul, Erin; Perrone, Erin; Phoon, Colin; Pinto, Nelangi; Rychik, Jack; Satou, Gary; Saxena, Amit; Sklansky, Mark; Stranic, James; Strasburger, Janette F; Srivastava, Shubhika; Srinivasan, Sharda; Tacy, Theresa; Tworetzky, Wayne; Uzun, Orhan; Yagel, Simcha; Zaretsky, Michael V; Moon-Grady, Anita J
PMID: 37394327
ISSN: 1097-6868
CID: 5538952

Cutaneous neonatal lupus in patients with skin of color: A retrospective cohort study from a national registry

Kleitsch, Julianne; Mazori, Daniel R; Masson, Mala; Izmirly, Peter M; Saxena, Amit; Buyon, Jill P; Glick, Sharon A
PMID: 36997071
ISSN: 1097-6787
CID: 5463392

Molnupiravir and Nirmatelvir/Ritonavir in the Treatment of Patients With Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease With SARS-CoV-2 [Editorial]

Corbitt, Kelly; Izmirly, Peter; Saxena, Amit
SARS-CoV-2 has certainly been at the forefront of medical discussion and research for the past 3 years. While many are adjusting back to "normal," thanks to the rapid advancements in prevention and treatment, high-risk groups, such as adults with systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), still require careful monitoring and care.
PMID: 37127316
ISSN: 0315-162x
CID: 5544802

Update on the Efficacy and Safety Profile of Voclosporin: An Integrated Analysis of Clinical Trials in Lupus Nephritis

Arriens, Cristina; Teng, Y K Onno; Ginzler, Ellen M; Parikh, Samir V; Askanase, Anca D; Saxena, Amit; Gibson, Keisha; Caster, Dawn J; Atsumi, Tatsuya; Lisk, Laura; Randhawa, Simrat; Gluck, Rashieda; Solomons, Neil; Huizinga, Robert B
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:This integrated analysis evaluates the efficacy and safety of voclosporin, a novel calcineurin inhibitor, at 23.7 mg twice daily in combination with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and oral glucocorticoids in lupus nephritis (LN) using pooled data from two large phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials. The purpose was to expand the pool of patients for safety analyses and to increase power for efficacy analyses in patient subpopulations. METHODS:AURA-LV (phase 2) and AURORA 1 (phase 3) were randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials with similar designs and endpoints comparing voclosporin to control in combination with MMF and oral glucocorticoids for the treatment of LN. The primary efficacy outcome of the integrated analysis was complete renal response (CRR) at approximately 1 year (Week 48 data from AURA-LV and Week 52 from AURORA 1). Safety was assessed throughout the trials. RESULTS:Overall, 534 patients (voclosporin 268, control 266) were included in the integrated analysis. Significantly more patients achieved a CRR at 1 year in the voclosporin than control group (43.7% vs. 23.3%, OR 2.76; 95% CI 1.88, 4.05 p<0.0001). The incidence of adverse events (AEs) was similar; 91.4% voclosporin and 87.2% control. Most AEs were mild to moderate in severity; the most commonly reported AEs were classified as infections and infestations (62.2% voclosporin, 54.9% control) and gastrointestinal disorders (45.3% voclosporin, 35.3% placebo). No new or unexpected safety signals were detected. CONCLUSIONS:This integrated analysis demonstrates the efficacy and safety of voclosporin in the treatment of LN across the diverse racial and ethnic groups studied. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 36039949
ISSN: 2151-4658
CID: 5337622

Contribution of S100A4-expressing fibroblasts to anti-SSA/Ro-associated atrioventricular nodal calcification and soluble S100A4 as a biomarker of clinical severity

Firl, Christina E M; Halushka, Marc; Fraser, Nicola; Masson, Mala; Cuneo, Bettina F; Saxena, Amit; Clancy, Robert; Buyon, Jill
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Fibrosis and dystrophic calcification disrupting conduction tissue architecture are histopathological lesions characterizing cardiac manifestations of neonatal lupus (cardiac-NL) associated with maternal anti-SSA/Ro antibodies. OBJECTIVES/UNASSIGNED:Increased appreciation of heterogeneity in fibroblasts encourages re-examination of existing models with the consideration of multiple fibroblast subtypes (and their unique functional differences) in mind. This study addressed fibroblast heterogeneity by examining expression of α-Smooth Muscle Actin (myofibroblasts) and of S100 Calcium-Binding Protein A4 (S100A4). METHODS/UNASSIGNED:, supported by the evaluation of cord blood from cardiac-NL neonates and their healthy (anti-SSA/Ro-exposed) counterparts, and autopsy tissue from fetuses dying with cardiac-NL, the current study was initiated to more clearly define and distinguish the S100A4-positive fibroblast in the fetal cardiac environment. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:fibroblasts expressed pro-angiogenic cytokines and proteases that degrade collagen. Cord blood levels of S100A4 in anti-SSA/Ro-exposed neonates tracked disease severity and, in discordant twins, distinguished affected from unaffected. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:fibroblast alongside the canonical myofibroblast in the pathogenesis of cardiac-NL. Neonatal S100A4 levels support a novel biomarker of poor prognosis.
PMID: 37090702
ISSN: 1664-3224
CID: 5464682