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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2012, Article ID 578641, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/578641
Review Article

Biological Therapy in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medical Science, State University of Campinas, 13083-887 Campinas, SP, Brazil

Received 25 August 2011; Accepted 8 October 2011

Academic Editor: Jozélio Freire de Carvalho

Copyright © 2012 Mariana Postal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic inflammatory autoimmune disorder characterized by multisystem involvement and fluctuating disease activity. Symptoms range from rather mild manifestations such as rash or arthritis to life-threatening end-organ manifestations. Despite new and improved therapy having positively impacted the prognosis of SLE, a subgroup of patients do not respond to conventional therapy. Moreover, the risk of fatal outcomes and the damaging side effects of immunosuppressive therapies in SLE call for an improvement in the current therapeutic management. New therapeutic approaches are focused on B-cell targets, T-cell downregulation and costimulatory blockade, cytokine inhibition, and the modulation of complement. Several biological agents have been developed, but this encouraging news is associated with several disappointments in trials and provide a timely moment to reflect on biologic therapy in SLE.