Author Affiliations: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a devastating systemic autoimmune disease that predominantly affects young women, is more common in African-Americans than in whites, and results in poor quality of life. Lupus has no cure, and up to 90% of patients require corticosteroids for disease control.1 More than half of patients with lupus have permanent organ damage, much of which is either directly due to or increased by corticosteroids.1 Mortality is increased in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, with accelerated atherosclerosis the most important contributing factor,2 although the risk of cancer is also increased.3
Petri M, Brodsky R. High-Dose Cyclophosphamide and Stem Cell Transplantation for Refractory Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. JAMA. 2006;295(5):559-560. doi:10.1001/jama.295.5.559