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A. Working Towards New Treatments for Lupus

Narrator: This is Science Today. Systemic lupus is an autoimmune disease that is most often treated with steroids or chemotherapeutic agents. But these traditional therapies can cause serious side effects, including sterility, heart disease and cancer. That's why Dr. John Davis, director of the Clinical Trials Center at the University of California, San Francisco, is researching new treatments for lupus.

Davis: The overall premise of our research is to find safer, more effective and better targeted treatments for lupus. What we are trying to do is look at the pathogenic mechanisms that are causing lupus and specifically targeting those.

Narrator: Such as the interaction of B and T cells, which are linked to the out-of-control immune response that occurs in lupus.

Davis: I think this is an extremely exciting and promising time for patients with lupus. We haven't found the magic bullet yet, but we are getting close and we are at a point where we do not need to bombard the entire immune system. We're at a point where we can pick and choose which elements we want to target.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.