The discovery of a new factor in the development of lupus is the first major breakthrough in the treatment of the illness for 50 years. BAFF – B-cell Activating Factor – has led to the development of a new medication approved by the US Food ad Drug Authority last month.
B cells make antibodies to fight alien bodies like bacteria but are meant to die as they can be harmful in large numbers. Autoimmunity is triggered when they hang about for longer periods of time and the immune system ends up attacking the body’s own cells.
An autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting around five million people worldwide, lupus is manifest by the immune system attacking the connective tissue in the joints, lungs, kidneys and heart. It causes joint and skin diseases in most patients and organ and blood disorders in about half of the sufferers.Read more at Monash University