After taking over a decade to diagnose, and now having lived with Lupus for a number of years, which in my case caused Interstitial Lung Disease, Lupus Nephritis, Fibro, and MGUS, I feel like I have been offered a possible new lease on life!
I am entering the screening process for a Clinical Trial/procedure called "CART T-Cell Therapy" for Lupus patients!
The process has been used in the U.S. for cancer/lymphoma with approx a 40% "remission" rate.
However, when used for Lupus (so far only in other countries), thus far it has achieved a 100% remission rate! The Doctors are very careful not to use the word "cure", because the first use on Lupus patients was only 3 years ago (I believe that was in Germany). However, when my local Rheumatologist was telling me about it, he would occasionally whisper the word "cure" throughout the conversation.
Based on what I've been told by Doctors, the "drug companies" are now "sprinting" to try to be the first to achieve FDA approval and patents for the therapy in Lupus patients, and as is usual with drug companies, it's about the money. The base cost that I have been able to find for modifying a single individual's T-Cell runs around $400K, and that does not include all the other expenses involved in the overall process.
Basically the process involves removing blood/T-Cells from an individual, Then, while those T-Cells are being modified, they attempt to totally eliminate any remaining T and B cells (basically the whole immune system) with chemo drugs (this is in-patient/hospital time). Next, the individual is "infused" with their own modified T-Cells, which, since the immune system is basically a void, the body essentially builds a "reprogrammed"/new immune system from those T-Cells, that no longer attacks the body's own tissues/organs. The entire base process can take up to two months, with follow ups every quarter for the foreseeable future afterwards.
The rewards? So far ALL of those who've gone through the therapy/process (even though it's been a very small number) have been totally free of any signs/symptoms of Lupus, and none have required any further treatment for Lupus (no meds, drugs, or infusions)! I found the majority of my information by using the search term "Lupus Cart T cell therapy" I encourage anyone suffering from Lupus to check it out. There just might be a bright light at the end of this long, horrid Lupus ride.