Combined treatment with immunoadsorption and rituximab leads to fast and prolonged clinical remission in difficult-to-treat pemphigus vulgaris.
ABSTRACT Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a potentially life-threatening autoimmune bullous disorder which is characterized by blisters and erosions of the skin and mucous membranes. A frequently applied first-line therapy for PV consists of systemic corticosteroids (CS) combined with immunosuppressive agents. In refractory cases, novel therapeutic strategies such as immunoadsorption (IA) and the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab (Rtx) aim at directly interfering with pathogenic autoantibodies (auto-Abs).
To investigate the long-term efficacy of IA in combination with Rtx in patients with difficult-to-treat PV, we assessed the clinical response to treatment by monitoring the Autoimmune Bullous Skin Disorder Intensity Score, IgG auto-Abs against desmoglein 1 and 3 (Dsg1 and Dsg3) and the dose of systemic CS.
We retrospectively analysed clinical and serological parameters of 10 patients with difficult-to-treat PV who received IA at 4-week intervals, followed by Rtx either twice at 1000 mg or four times at 375mg m(-2) . During a 12-month follow-up period, CS were tapered according to the individual clinical status.
Six months after the first IA treatment eight of 10 patients were in complete remission on therapy while one patient showed a partial response and one patient was unresponsive to the treatment. At 12 months, six of eight patients were in complete remission on therapy, one patient showed stable disease and one patient had relapsed. Overall, anti-Dsg3 IgG and anti-Dsg1 IgG auto-Abs correlated well with the clinical activity and systemic CS were tapered gradually.
The present findings show that the combination of IA and Rtx induces rapid clinical remission and long-term control in difficult-to-treat pemphigus.
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ABSTRACT: Pemphigus vulgaris is a life-threatening autoimmune blistering disease caused by anti-desmoglein IgG autoantibodies that finally lead to acantholysis presenting clinically as progressive blistering. Whilst the production of pathogenic antibodies is key to the development of pemphigus vulgaris, many immunological steps are required prior to autoantibody induction. We review advances in the understanding of these immunologic processes with a focus on human leucocyte antigen polymorphisms and antigen recognition, epitope spreading, central and peripheral tolerance, T helper differentiation, induction of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and T-cell regulation of B cells. Targeting autoaggressive T cells as regulators and stimulators of B-cell antibody production should allow for more specific therapeutic immune interventions, avoiding the global immunosuppression seen with many commonly used immunosuppressants in pemphigus vulgaris.Experimental Dermatology 11/2013; 22(11):699-704. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Oral mucosal diseases encompass several common conditions that affect the general population. Some of these disorders present with signs and symptoms that are pathognomonic for the condition, whereas others present with similar features that can make clinical diagnosis difficult to achieve. It is important for physicians to have a clear understanding of these disorders to provide appropriate care to patients. This article reviews clinical aspects of common oral mucosal disorders, including candidiasis, herpes simplex viral infections, aphthous stomatitis, lichen planus, pemphigus vulgaris, and mucous membrane pemphigoid. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Medical Clinics of North America. 11/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Rituximab is a monoclonal therapeutic anti-CD20 antibody that has been approved for use in lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Over the past decade several reports based on case series and observational studies have recorded the benefits of rituximab in particular groups of dermatological patients. Off-label use of rituximab in many dermatological indications is not uncommon in many countries in the world. This article reviews the available data that may be of use to the practicing dermatologist. Because of its potential complications, paucity of clinical data, and cost considerations, rituximab is favoured only when standard systemic therapies fail or corticosteroids are absolutely contraindicated. Further research is required in this field.Indian dermatology online journal. 07/2014; 5(3):250-9.