Category Archives: PemPress Education

It can be difficult to accept the news of a lifelong chronic disease. It may be easier to understand the diagnosis of appendicitis when a procedure is needed, or medication to treat a cold, or the need to use crutches for a couple of months because of a broken bone. But accepting a disease like asthma, diabetes, lupus, pemphigus, or pemphigoid may be more difficult. Managing your life first begins with a strategy to live with your medical condition.

image of an anitgenGenentech recently announced an important FDA decision that could potentially impact future treatment options for pemphigus. Here at the IPPF, it’s especially exciting when we get to share good news related to research and treatments. The full press release from Genentech can be found here. The following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted Genentech’s Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) and granted Priority Review for the use of Rituxan® (rituximab) for the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris (PV). Last year, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Orphan Drug Designation to Rituxan for the treatment of PV.

“We are committed to developing medicines for rare diseases with limited treatment options, such as pemphigus vulgaris,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “We look forward to continued work with the FDA to hopefully provide patients with a new treatment for this serious and potentially life-threatening disease.”

The sBLA submission is based on data from a Roche-supported randomized trial conducted in France which evaluated Rituxan plus a tapering regimen of low dose oral corticosteroid (CS) treatment compared to a standard dose of CS alone as a first-line treatment in patients with newly diagnosed moderate to severe pemphigus. Results of the study show that Rituxan provides substantial improvement in pemphigus vulgaris remission rates and successful tapering and/or cessation of CS therapy. These results were published in The Lancet in March 2017. Genentech is currently conducting another Phase III study in PV which is evaluating Rituxan plus a tapering regimen of CS compared to Cellcept (PEMPHIX, NCT02383589).

Read Genentech’s press release, including additional information and references, here. 

You don’t have to be a Navy SEAL, firefighter, or an NFL football player to be resilient. Resilience is a common trait that you can build upon by developing certain skills. Research has shown that while some people are naturally more resilient, these behaviors can also be learned. Here are some techniques to foster your own resilience.

In January 2013 my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Thankfully, after surgery he was cancer free. But in May 2015 our whole world seemed to turn upside down when he came home with a very unusual sore in his mouth. Fearing the cancer had returned, Tony went to our family doctor and was immediately sent to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. He had the results within days, but the outbreak spread like wildfire.

Photo of Rudy Soto with his family.

My name is Rudy Soto. I am from the great state of Texas and have lived there all of my life. I am married to a wonderful woman, Jennifer, who is my greatest supporter. We have four awesome children—two girls and two boys who range in age from 5 to 23. My motto is Can’t Grind Me Down, which I took on after I achieved remission in November of 2016.

On Saturday, February 4th, the Mid-Atlantic Support Group held its first meeting in Stafford, VA, with 10 new members attending. This meeting was supported by Vicky Starr and Diplomat Pharmacy.

Carolyn Fota approached the IPPF last fall about starting a support group in her area. Her reason for wanting to start a support group was simple. “I feel so much was given to me through the IPPF — it’s the least that I can do. This illness that we share, although serious, doesn’t have to be so isolating, scary and painful especially with a wonderful organization like the IPPF.”

Last year was shaping up to be a very important year. I had just gotten an associate degree in journalism and was all set to transfer to a four-year university in the fall to pursue my B.A. On top of that, I turned 21 in February and was looking forward to savoring all the exciting things young adulthood had to offer. It was during this very same month that everything changed.

Pemphigoid Gestionis

Pemphigoid Gestationis is a rare autoimmune blistering skin disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 40,000-50,000 pregnancies in the United States each year. United Kingdom figures put it at 1 in 1-2 million people. You could say that each of us is one in a million! No one wants this; most have said that they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy. This is my PG story.