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A Few Vasculitis And Churg Strauss Updates

Posted Jul 19 2010 12:00am

Hi everyone.

I’m trying to do a bit of catch up on some older news releases so over the next few days I will be doing some posts that talk about some older news that I have missed but I want to share with you all…so without further delay let’s start with this…

The drug Rituxan has been found to be able to treat severe ANCA-associated vasculitis.

A drug that was previously approved for treating non-Hodgkin’s B cell lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis was identified by researchers in treating severe ANCA-associated vasculitis.The drug, Rituxan, can treat severe ANCA-associated vasculitis as effectively as cyclophosphamide, the current standard therapy.

This news was presented at an annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Philadelphia. “

” Eugene P. Rhee, Karen A. Laliberte, and John L. Niles Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Correspondence: Dr. John L. Niles, Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 151 Merrimac Street, 3rd floor, Boston, MA 02114. Phone: 617-726-1108; Fax: 617-248-3884; E-mail:

Background and objectives: Ongoing randomized trials seek to validate the efficacy of rituximab as an induction agent for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). However, no studies directly address the role of rituximab as maintenance therapy.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: This retrospective study reports the authors’ experience with continuous rituximab administration in 39 patients in complete or partial remission at the time of rituximab initiation. All 39 patients had at least 1 year of follow-up, and 20 had 2 years of follow-up.

Results: Disease activity, as measured by a modified Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score, decreased from a median of 1 at baseline to 0 at 12 (P < 0.001) and 24 months (P = 0.02). Three patients experienced nonorgan-threatening flares during 708 patient-months of follow-up. Each flare occurred after at least 20 months of follow-up. The percentage of patients on cytotoxic immunosuppression decreased from 87% at baseline to 41% at 12 months (P < 0.001) and 30% at 24 months (P = 0.002). The percentage of patients on prednisone decreased from 92% at baseline to 59% at 12 months (P < 0.001) and 55% at 24 months (P = 0.02). Two patients developed late-onset neutropenia; both responded to treatment with recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.

Conclusions: The successful use of continuous anti-B cell therapy in patients with AAV in complete or partial remission is reported. This extends the potential role of rituximab beyond induction to include maintenance therapy. However, more data are required regarding the delayed adverse effects of rituximab. “

Here is something about someone who has Churg and is also trying to make a difference…

Jasvir Singh, of Wellesley Road, Ilford, was just weeks away from fulfilling his dream to become a police officer when he was struck down with Churg-Strauss syndrome in 2002, an autoimmune condition that means the body turns on itself.

Doctors struggled to diagnose Jasvir, with severe constipation and appendicitis being cited as two possible reasons for his “completely unbearable” stomach pain.

It was only thanks to a doctor in King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes taking a punt on CSS that meant effective treatment could begin.

“It was the worst time of my life,” said Jasvir, 26 who takes 20 pills a day just to stay alive and is about to launch two websites to help disabled sufferers find the care they need.

He said: “They found I had perforations in my bowels and I was taking shots of morphine every five minutes. But even then the pain would only drop from a 10 to a six.”

for more on Jasvir’s story just go here .

Here is a disease that is said can ” Mimic ” vasculitis…I’m going to just link to this one but will do a regular post about this tomorrow.

And the last thing here in this post is about a woman, diagnosed with Churg Strauss, who went blind and then into a spiral downfall…but made it to the other side…

Lisa Fittipaldi, having been diagnosed with Churg Strauss syndrome and Wegener’s granulomatosis, went blind in 1993 at the age of forty-seven. After months of doctors, tests, specialists and more tests, she descended into a freefall of anger and denial that lasted two years, until a child’s watercolor set, thrown down like a gauntlet by her frustrated husband, opened the door to a new life. In this moving memoir, she paints a vivid picture of the perpetual and emotional darkness that accompanied her diagnosis and vision loss, and her arduous journey to reclaim her life.

For more on Lisa’s story just go here .


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