A national drug trial being organized at Upstate aims to find a safer treatment for the chronic inflammatory disease lupus. Andras Perl, MD, PhD, describes the disease, which causes painful episodes called flares that can involve joint pain, rashes, fevers and organ damage and primarily affects females of childbearing age. The disease can be treated with immune-suppressing drugs, but that can leave the body open to infection. This trial aims for a safe treatment that does not suppress the immune system, using an oral form of acetylcysteine, a modified form of a natural amino acid. Upstate will lead the study, which will involve 20 academic medical centers across the United States. For more information about the drug trial, call 315-464-1779. Perl is Upstate's chief of rheumatology and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and microbiology and immunology. Click here to read more about the drug trial.