A study published in the magazine The New England Journal of Medicine, supported by the French Society of Dermatology and by Roche, analyzes the treatment of pemphigus with rituximab, a monoclonal antibody.
Pemphigus is a skin condition autoimmune, rare, which almost always manifests in middle-aged adults or elderly people, and is characterized by the formation of blisters on the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and mucous membranes. The body's immune system produces antibodies to fight certain proteins in skin and mucous membranes, which cause a reaction that leads to the detachment of epidermal cells.
The study, in which 13 centers participated in France and was approved by the Seine-Maritime Ethics Committee, demonstrated the efficacy of rituximab, performing the trial on 21 patients (14 men and 7 women), where 86% were in complete remission three months after receiving four weekly infusions of rituximab.
In conclusion, this research suggests that rituximab is a very effective treatment for severe pemphigus, but a longer follow-up would be broader and safer, necessary to evaluate the long-term risks of treatment.