Preventing organ damage in systemic lupus erythematosus: the impact of early biological treatment
Íñigo Rúa-Figueroa Fernández de Larrinoa 1 , María J Cuadrado Lozano 2 , Carlos Marras Fernández-Cid 3 , Tatiana C Ibáñez 4 , Tarek C Salman Monte 5 , Mercedes Freire González 6 , Francisco J Hidalgo Bermejo 7 , Carmen San Román Gutiérrez 7 , Josefina Cortés-Hernández 8
Introduction: One of the most important aims in the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is to avoid or delay the accumulation of organ damage. The first five years after diagnosis are crucial for prognosis.
Areas covered: This manuscript reviews available data on organ damage accrual in SLE and early therapeutic intervention as a possible strategy to prevent its long-term accrual.
Expert opinion: Organ damage can be minimized by controlling disease activity and risk of flares, reducing the dose of glucocorticoids, and ensuring a proper therapeutic intervention with an early introduction of the right therapies. The current standard treatment cannot provide clinical remission in all patients with SLE. Therefore, there is a clinical need for introducing new therapeutic strategies able to achieve the main therapeutic objectives. The addition of biologic and other therapeutic agents to the standard of care is effective for controlling disease activity and for preventing severe flares, enabling a reduced use of glucocorticoids, and presumably reducing organ damage progression. Considering its efficacy and safety, early inclusion of biologic agents in the first lines of the treatment algorithm, at least in certain patients, could be considered as an innovative treatment approach to decrease disease burden in SLE patients.