MASTERPLANS

MAximizing Sle ThERapeutic PotentiaL by Application of Novel and Stratified approaches
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MASTERPLANS is a project studying how different groups of patients within the lupus community respond to specific drugs. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE; lupus) is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting approximately 16,000* people in the UK. The disease presents itself in different ways: each patient presents with a unique fingerprint of organs involved, severity, and response to therapy. These differences are paralleled by a range of underlying genetic and immune function abnormalities.

A number of new therapies, with different ways of working in the body, have been developed. Overall, only 40-60% of patients respond well to each drug, though certain groups of patients respond very well to each drug.

Current therapy is based on a ‘trial and error’ approach. MASTERPLANS aims to improve care for SLE patients by identifying groups of patients that respond well to particular therapies.

MASTERPLANS is funded by the Medical Research Council (£4.1m) under its Stratified Medicine Initiative.

Stratified Medicine


Stratified medicine is the management of a group of patients with shared biological characteristics by using diagnostic tests to select the best therapy. The goal of stratified medicine is to provide patients with the best treatments by:

  • ensuring that existing therapies are targeted at those who will derive most benefit and by
  • accelerating the development of new therapies, by better understanding why some patients do not respond well to existing options

* based on 25-30 patients per 100,000 adult population in the UK