Pediatric Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus) Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

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Contact the Department of Rheumatology

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  Boston Children’s Hospital, 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 Boston Children’s Hospital's medical research program. Boston 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 Boston 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, Boston 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 Boston Children’s.

Search the NIH’s list of clinical trials taking place around the world.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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