Immune drug helps relapsing kidney disease

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A recent study shows that in patients with a frequently-relapsing form of kidney disease, relapses decreased approximately five-fold for at least one year after patients took a single dose of rituximab.

For many patients with a kidney disorder called idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS), the disease is thought to arise from an abnormal immune response. Researchers have shown that the drug can help children with INS that responds to standard treatments consisting of immunosuppressants and steroids. Therefore, rituximab may allow patients to discontinue the potentially toxic medications, which can affect children’s growth and can increase patients’ risks for heart problems, cancer, infections, and other conditions.

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