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Expert Opin Orphan Drugs. 2016;4(1):31-47. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Treatment of Rapidly Progressive Systemic Sclerosis: Current and Futures Perspectives.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA; Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Scleroderma Center, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.
3
Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Scleroderma Center, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by severe and often progressive cutaneous, pulmonary, cardiac and gastrointestinal tract fibrosis, cellular and humoral immunologic alterations, and pronounced fibroproliferative vasculopathy. There is no effective SSc disease modifying therapy. Patients with rapidly progressive SSc have poor prognosis with frequent disability and very high mortality.

AREAS COVERED:

This paper reviews currently available therapeutic approaches for rapidly progressive SSc and discuss novel drugs under study for SSc disease modification.

EXPERT OPINION:

The extent, severity, and rate of progression of SSc skin and internal organ involvement determines the optimal therapeutic interventions for SSc. Cyclophosphamide for progressive SSc-associated interstitial lung disease and mycophenolate for rapidly progressive cutaneous involvement have shown effectiveness. Methotrexate has been used for less severe skin progression and for patients unable to tolerate mycophenolate. Rituximab was shown to induce improvement in SSc-cutaneous and lung involvement. Autologous bone marrow transplantation is reserved for selected cases in whom poor survival risk outweighs the high mortality rate of the procedure. Novel agents capable of modulating fibrotic and inflammatory pathways involved in SSc pathogenesis, including tocilizumab, pirfenidone, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, lipid lysophosphatidic acid 1, and NOX4 inhibitors are currently under development for the treatment of rapidly progressive SSc.

KEYWORDS:

Pulmonary Fibrosis; Rapidly Progressive Systemic Sclerosis; Treatment

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