First, scientists are using designer immune cells to put an autoimmune disease into remission

Five patients with difficult-to-treat lupus went into remission after scientists modified their immune cells using a technique normally used to treat cancer. After the single therapy, all five patients with the autoimmune disease stopped their standard treatments and had no relapse.

This treatment, known as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, needs to be tested in larger groups of lupus patients before it can be approved for widespread use. But if the results hold up in larger studies, the therapy could one day provide relief for people with moderate to severe lupus.