Autoantibody Reductive Therapy
Autoantibody Reductive Therapy using combined therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), rituximab, and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in comparison to effects of treatment as usual (TAU), among AE-IPF patients.
Acute exacerbations (AE) are a dreaded manifestation of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that presents with rapidly worsening respiratory function over days to weeks. AE account for about 1/2 the deaths in IPF patients, and are refractory to all medical therapies attempted to date. Considerable preliminary data shows pathological B-cell abnormalities and autoantibodies are present in AE-IPF and associated with disease severity. The experimental therapy here (therapeutic plasma exchange plus rituximab plus intravenous immunoglobulin) is mechanistically targeted to ameliorate autoantibody-mediated pulmonary injury. Anecdotal pilot studies indicate these treatments have significant benefit for a disease syndrome that has, until now, been almost invariably inexorable. This clinical trial has the potential to profoundly affect current paradigms and treatment approaches to patients with AE-IPF.