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Drug Eases Side Effects of Lupus

Potential cancer treatment may also reduce chances of kidney disease

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 15, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A drug being tested as a cancer treatment may also reduce the kidney disease that can be caused by lupus, according to a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center study.

Researchers found the drug SAHA (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) inhibited the onset of lupus-related kidney disease in mice. The study appears in the Sept. 15 issue of the Journal of Immunology.

In addition to preventing kidney diseases in the mice, the drug reduced the size of the spleen and decreased production of certain T-cells that play an important role in lupus. The drug also decreased excess protein in the urine of the mice.

The mice that received SAHA showed no adverse effects.

This study received funding from Aton Pharma Inc., which holds the license for SAHA.

The researchers plan to start a Phase I clinical trial of SAHA in lupus patients next year to assess the drug's safety.

More information

The Lupus Foundation of America has more about lupus.

SOURCE: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, news release, Sept. 15, 2004
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