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Review: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Scleroderma: Effective Immunomodulatory Therapy for Patients With Pulmonary Involvement *

As seen from both patients’ and physicians’ points of view, there is wide agreement that systemic sclerosis (SSc) is one of the autoimmune disorders with the highest morbidity and mortality rates. In this review, we will follow the evolution of a new approach to its treatment. Support for using hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for SSc arose from seminal studies of genetic and antigen‐induced experimental models of autoimmune disease that demonstrated that high‐dose immunosuppression followed by either allogeneic (same species) or autologous (self) bone marrow transplantation (BMT) could prevent and even reverse damage from autoimmune diseases. Three decades after these initial preclinical observations, our understanding of the therapeutic potential of immune restoration following autologous HSCT has deepened, and the clinical evidence for its application in scleroderma has broadened.

In this review we will examine the outcome of conventional therapy for scleroderma lung disease; detail the techniques, toxicities, and results of HSCT for SSc; and explore the biology of immune restoration following autologous transplantation. We will compare the design and outcomes of randomized trials comparing HSCT with cyclophosphamide (CYC) treatment and formulate criteria for the timely referral of patients with scleroderma lung disease for HSCT.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 06-02-2017
Authors: Keith M. Sullivan, Ankoor Shah, Stefanie Sarantopoulos and Daniel E. Furst