Research & Innovation
Though the outlook for children with lupus is infinitely better than it was half a century ago, there hasn’t been a major new treatment approved for this illness in a long time. Many of the drugs doctors use are extremely effective but have their own risks and side effects: Corticosteroids, for example, work like a “sledgehammer” against the entire immune system, curbing its harmful malfunctions but also leaving patients more vulnerable to infection.
In short, it’s time for a lupus breakthrough. At Children’s Hospital Boston, our Samara Jan Turkel Clinical Center has explored some of the most promising potential therapies for lupus, including new steroid-sparing drugs. Most recently, our physicians participated in an international study that looked at mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept), a medication commonly used to prevent organ transplant rejection, asa treatment for lupus kidney disease.
Clinical trials and patient registries
There are many ways in which your child might benefit from Children’s Hospital Boston’s medical research program. Children’s doctors and scientists have made many breakthrough discoveries about diseases like polio and leukemia; our ongoing research continues to push the boundaries of the way pediatric medicine is practiced.
It’s possible that your child will be eligible to participate in one of Children’s current clinical trials. These studies are useful for a multitude of reasons: Some trials are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular drug, treatment or therapy on a specific disease; others help doctors to better understand how and why certain conditions occur. At any given time, Children’s has hundreds of clinical trials under way.
Alternately, your child’s doctor might ask you to participate in a registry, a list of patients that is matched to an archive of biospecimens (such as serum and DNA) to serve as a resource for research into this disease.
And participation in any clinical trial or registry is completely voluntary: We’ll take care to fully explain all elements of the treatment plan prior to the start of the trial, and you may remove your child from the medical study at any time.
Search current and upcoming clinical trials at Children’s.
Search the NIH’s list of clinical trials taking place around the world.