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June 2015 Scleroderma News

Genentech Granted FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Actemra® for Systemic Sclerosis. On June 10, 2015, Genentech announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation status to Actemra® (tocilizumab) for the treatment of systemic sclerosis (also known as scleroderma), a rare and potentially life-threatening disease with no FDA-approved therapy. ISN News Release, 06/10/2015. (Also see: Scleroderma Treatments and Clinical Trials: Actemra)

Case Report Highlights Acute Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) in Scleroderma Patient The research team thoroughly analyzed other causes of CRVO besides scleroderma, concluding that scleroderma was the most likely cause for this patient’s condition. Scleroderma News, 03/30/2015. (Also see Eye Involvement)

Measures of Lung Function Sensitive to Comorbidity of Scleroderma. Accurately determining functional impairment of the respiratory system of scleroderma patients is essential to helping their recovery from symptoms. Scleroderma News, 04/24/2015. (Also see Pulmonary Fibrosis Research)

Debilitating, Profound Fatigue Reported by Patients with Autoimmune Diseases Such as Scleroderma. Fatigue is a real symptom, yet for too long, it has been ignored and/or misunderstood by the medical community and the public at large. Scleroderma News, 04/22/2015. (Also see Fatigue)

A qualitative systematic review of the prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in systemic sclerosis (SSc). SSc is an independent risk factor and is associated with an increased prevalence/incidence for CAD. PubMed, Int J Rheum Dis, 2015 Mar;18(3):276-86. (Also see Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Functional autoantibodies in systemic sclerosis (SSc) pathogenesis. Functional autoantibodies could represent a significant piece in the puzzle of SSc pathogenesis and may open new gateways and opportunities for therapeutic intervention. PubMed, Curr Rheumatol Rep, 2015 May;17(5):505. (Also see Autoantibodies)

The Tumor Necrosis Factor Superfamily Molecule LIGHT Promotes Keratinocyte Activity and Skin Fibrosis. LIGHT, a TNF superfamily molecule, may be an important mediator of skin inflammation and fibrosis in diseases such as scleroderma or atopic dermatitis. PubMed, J Invest Dermatol, 03/19/2015. (Also see Skin Fibrosis)

Digital ulcers (DUs) predict a worse disease course in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). In patients with SSc, a history of DUs at presentation predicts the occurrence of DUs at follow-up and is associated with cardiovascular worsening and decreased survival. PubMed, Ann Rheum Dis, 02/16/2015. (Also see Digital Ulcers)

Serology Helps Pinpoint Type of Scleroderma. Serologic status should be added to extent of skin involvement for more accurate classification of disease phenotype in systemic sclerosis. Medpage Today, 04/23/2015. (Also see Antibodies in Systemic Scleroderma)

Actemra Looks Promising in Scleroderma. Encouraging results were seen for tocilizumab (Actemra) in the treatment of diffuse systemic sclerosis in a proof-of-concept study. Medpage Today, 04/29/2015. (Also see Scleroderma Clinical Trials)

Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) Patients Are More Prone to Atherosclerosis. Patients with SSc display an increased risk for subclinical atherosclerosis and peripheral arterial disease when compared to healthy individuals. Scleroderma News, 04/17/2015. (Also see Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Go to Scleroderma Medical News: May 2015

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