St. Lawrence Health running trial of lupus treatment
CANTON – Unless you know someone with lupus, it is not a disease commonly talked about in conversation. For those affected, however, its symptoms and signs are all too familiar.
May is Lupus Awareness Month and St. Lawrence Health’s Clinical and Rural Health Research Department is currently conducting a TULIP (Treatment of Uncontrolled Lupus via the Interferon Pathway) clinical trial being sponsored by AstraZeneca.Lupus is a disease that occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. While there's no cure for lupus, treatments can help control the symptoms.
SLH Director of Clinical Research Scott Wehage noted there is a rather large number of lupus patients being followed by SLH Rheumatologist Eyal Kedar, MD, who is also the lead physician on the lupus clinical trial.
No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common signs and symptoms include a butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes elsewhere on the body, chest pain, dry eyes, fatigue, fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods, fever, headaches/confusion/memory loss, joint pain, stiffness and swelling, shortness of breath, and/or skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure.
“By participating in clinical research, individuals are contributing to the advancement of science as a whole and can potentially help bring new treatment options to market,” Mr. Wehage said. “TULIP is an FDA-approved medication with a new route for drug delivery.”
The current lupus trial is due to close in June 2024, yet new participants can still be added.
“The typical protocol for the TULIP trial requires monthly visits to Dr. Kedar’s office, where participants will undergo a physical exam, blood work, and receive the treatment,” Mr. Wehage said, noting Dr. Kedar’s office is located in the SLH Medical Campus, 6119 US Route 11, Canton.
“I feel it is important to point out that in industry-sponsored trials, the visits, treatment, and testing associated with the trial are typically covered at no cost to the patient. The participant usually receives a small stipend per each completed visit to help offset the cost of traveling to the doctor’s office,” Mr. Wehage reported.
To learn more about the lupus clinical trial, and what the Clinical Research is all about, visit HYPERLINK "https://stlawrencehealthsystem.org/Services/Clinical-Research"https://stlawrencehealthsystem.org/Services/Clinical-Research, or stop by to see them later this month at the Potsdam Farmers Market.
Representatives from the department will be at the Saturday, May 20, Farmer’s Market in Ives Park, Potsdam, from 9 a.m. to noon. Their table will include information on general research, current and former clinical trials, the history of the department, and of course, giveaways.
“We want to provide information/education on what clinical research is, how you can be involved, and answer questions people may have concerning our Rural Health Research Department,” noted Clinical Research Assistant Caryn Harrington. “Just as our mission states, ‘It is our mission to connect members of the North Country to innovative and modern medical treatment options in a safe and trusted way, while also contributing to the scientific community through a rural health lens.’”