Are you Christine Pauwels?

Claim your profile

Publications (6)78.16 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pemphigus is a severe blistering condition of the skin and mucosa caused by autoantibodies directed against desmogleins, which are a type of keratinocyte adhesion protein. B cell depletion by rituximab has short-term efficacy against pemphigus. We aimed to assess the long-term course of pemphigus patients after B cell depletion and to understand the immunological mechanisms that mediate long-lasting remissions. We evaluated the clinical course of 22 pemphigus patients treated with rituximab after a 79-month median follow-up and compared the anti-desmoglein B cell response and B and T lymphocyte subpopulations and repertoire between patients who achieved complete remission (CR) and those who had incomplete remission (IR). Thirteen patients (59%) experienced CR during the study, including 10 patients off treatment and 3 patients with prednisone doses <10 mg/day; 9 patients had IR. A marked increase was observed in the ratio of CD19CD27 naïve B cells to CD19CD27 memory B cells. Indeed, patients in CR had a fourfold higher number of transitional B cells and interleukin-10-secreting regulatory B cells than those in IR. Furthermore, CR was associated with modification of the initial B cell repertoire and the disappearance of desmoglein-specific circulating immunoglobulin G-positive (IgG) B lymphocytes, whereas a skewed B cell repertoire was observed in patients in IR. Thus, a blockage of B cell maturation, a prolonged repopulation with naïve B cells, and a delayed reappearance of memory B cells, which resulted in the disappearance of circulating desmoglein-specific IgG B lymphocytes, contribute to the long-lasting effectiveness of rituximab for treating pemphigus.
    Science translational medicine 03/2013; 5(175):175ra30. · 10.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To identify prognostic factors for relapse in the first year after cessation of therapy in bullous pemphigoid (BP). Prospective, multicenter, cohort study (January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2006). Fifteen French dermatology departments. Patients Patients with BP in remission under low doses of topical or systemic corticosteroids. Interventions Cessation of corticosteroid treatment (day 0) followed by a systematic clinical and immunologic follow-up. The end point was clinical relapse within the first year after cessation of therapy. Associations of clinical, biological, and immunologic (including direct immunofluorescence, serum anti-basement membrane zone autoantibodies, and serum BP180 autoantibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] on day 0) variables with clinical relapse were assessed by means of univariate and multivariate analyses. On day 0, 30 of 114 patients (26.3%) still had a positive result of direct immunofluorescence, 63 of 112 (56.3%) had circulating anti-basement membrane zone autoantibodies, and 34 of 57 (60%) had anti-BP180 antibodies by ELISA. At month 12, 22 patients were dead (n = 11) or lost to follow-up (n = 11), 51 were in remission, and 45 had had relapses (mean interval to relapse, 3.2 months). Factors predictive of relapse within 12 months after cessation of therapy were a positive result of direct immunofluorescence microscopy (P = .02), a greater age (P = .01), and high-titer ELISA scores (P = .02) on day 0. In multivariate analysis, the only factor independently predictive of relapse was a high-titer ELISA score on day 0 (odds ratio, 11.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.29-93.76). High-titer anti-BP180 ELISA score and, to a lesser degree, a positive direct immunofluorescence finding are good indicators of further relapse of BP. At least 1 of these tests should be performed before therapy is discontinued.
    Archives of dermatology 06/2009; 145(5):537-42. · 4.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Superpotent topical corticosteroids (CS) have been demonstrated to improve bullous pemphigoid (BP) patients' survival. We assessed whether a mild regimen using lower doses of topical CS and a shorter duration could improve the outcome of BP patients even more. Three-hundred and twelve BP patients were included in a multicenter randomized controlled trial and stratified depending on the extent of BP as moderate (n=134) or extensive (n=178). Patients were randomly assigned to the standard regimen (clobetasol propionate cream, 40 g per day initially, with CS tapering over 12 months) or the mild regimen (10-30 g per day), with CS tapering over 4 months. A noninferior rate of BP control was obtained with the mild regimen 156/159 (98%) as compared with the standard regimen 150/150 (100%; P=0.005). Event-free survival, that is, the combined outcome of deaths and life-threatening adverse events did not differ between the two treatment groups (P=0.77). However, upon adjusting through the Cox model for age and Karnofsky score, a strong beneficial effect of the mild regimen was observed in patients with moderate BP, with an almost twofold decrease in the risk of death or life-threatening adverse events relative to the standard regimen (hazard ratio=0.54; 95% confidence interval, 0.30-0.97; P=0.039). This mild regimen allows a 70% reduction of the cumulative doses of CS and improves BP patients' outcome.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 02/2009; 129(7):1681-7. · 6.19 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The combination of multiple cycles of rituximab and intravenous immune globulins has been reported to be effective in patients with severe pemphigus. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a single cycle of rituximab in severe types of pemphigus. We studied 21 patients with pemphigus whose disease had not responded to an 8-week course of 1.5 mg of prednisone per kilogram of body weight per day (corticosteroid-refractory disease), who had had at least two relapses despite doses of prednisone higher than 20 mg per day (corticosteroid-dependent disease), or who had severe contraindications to corticosteroids. The patients were treated with four weekly infusions of 375 mg of rituximab per square meter of body-surface area. The primary end point was complete remission 3 months after the end of rituximab treatment; complete remission was defined as epithelialization of all skin and mucosal lesions. Eighteen of 21 patients (86%; 95% confidence interval, 64 to 97%) had a complete remission at 3 months. The disease relapsed in nine patients after a mean of 18.9+/-7.9 months. After a median follow-up of 34 months, 18 patients (86%) were free of disease, including 8 who were not receiving corticosteroids; the mean prednisone dose decreased from 94.0+/-10.2 to 12.0+/-7.5 mg per day (P=0.04) in patients with corticosteroid-refractory disease and from 29.1+/-12.4 to 10.9+/-16.5 mg per day (P=0.007) in patients with corticosteroid-dependent disease. Pyelonephritis developed in one patient 12 months after rituximab treatment, and one patient died of septicemia 18 months after rituximab treatment. These patients had a profound decrease in the number of circulating B lymphocytes but normal serum levels of IgG. A single cycle of rituximab is an effective treatment for pemphigus. Because of its potentially severe side effects, its use should be limited to the most severe types of the disease. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00213512 [ClinicalTrials.gov].).
    New England Journal of Medicine 09/2007; 357(6):545-52. · 51.66 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To identify the prognostic factors of bullous pemphigoid (BP). Prospective study of patients with BP included in a randomized, controlled trial. Twenty dermatology departments in France. Patients One hundred seventy patients with BP initially treated with a 40-g/d dosage of clobetasol propionate cream (testing sample) and 171 patients initially treated with oral corticosteroids at a dosage of 0.5 or of 1.0 mg/kg per day, depending on the extent of BP (validation samples). The end point was overall survival during the first year after BP diagnosis. From the testing sample, associations of clinical and biological variables with overall survival were assessed using univariate and multivariate analyses. Selected predictors were included in a prognostic model. To verify that these predictors were not dependent on the treatment used, the model was then validated independently on the 2 series of BP patients treated with oral corticosteroids. Median age of the BP patients included in the testing sample was 83 years. The 1-year Kaplan-Meier survival rate was 74%. From univariate analysis, the main deleterious predictors were demographic factors (ie, older age and female sex), associated medical conditions (ie, cardiac insufficiency, history of stroke, and dementia), and low Karnofsky score, which is a measure of the patient's general condition. No factors directly related to BP, in particular extent of cutaneous lesions, were shown to be related to the patients' prognosis. From multivariate analysis, only older age (P = .02) and low Karnofsky score (P<.001) appeared independently predictive of death. From the Cox model including these 2 predictors, the predicted 1-year survival rates were 90% (95% confidence interval [CI], 85%-96%) for patients 83 years or younger with Karnofsky score greater than 40, 79% (95% CI, 69%-90%) for patients older than 83 years with Karnofsky score greater than 40, 65% (95% CI, 50%-86%) for patients 83 years or younger with Karnofsky score of 40 or less, and 38% (95% CI, 26%-57%) for patients older than 83 years with Karnofsky score of 40 or less. Kaplan-Meier survival distributions of patients from the validation samples appeared clearly separated according to these 4 categories and were in close agreement with corresponding predicted 1-year survival rates obtained from the testing sample. The prognosis of patients with BP is influenced by age and Karnofsky score. These predictors are easy to use and should facilitate the management of BP.
    Archives of Dermatology 07/2005; 141(6):691-8. · 4.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: age and female sex), associated medical conditions (ie, cardiac insufficiency, history of stroke, and dementia), and low Karnofsky score, which is a measure of the pa- tient's general condition. No factors directly related to BP,inparticularextentofcutaneouslesions,wereshown to be related to the patients' prognosis. From multivar- iate analysis, only older age (P=.02) and low Karnofsky score (P.001) appeared independently predictive of death. From the Cox model including these 2 predic- tors, the predicted 1-year survival rates were 90% (95% confidenceinterval(CI),85%-96%)forpatients83years or younger with Karnofsky score greater than 40, 79% (95%CI,69%-90%)forpatientsolderthan83yearswith Karnofsky score greater than 40, 65% (95% CI, 50%- 86%) for patients 83 years or younger with Karnofsky score of 40 or less, and 38% (95% CI, 26%-57%) for pa- tients older than 83 years with Karnofsky score of 40 or less.Kaplan-Meiersurvivaldistributionsofpatientsfrom the validation samples appeared clearly separated ac- cording to these 4 categories and were in close agree- ment with corresponding predicted 1-year survival rates obtained from the testing sample. Conclusions: The prognosis of patients with BP is in- fluenced by age and Karnofsky score. These predictors are easy to use and should facilitate the management of BP.