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Scleroderma Treatments - General

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer

Unfortunately, there's no proven treatment and no cure for scleroderma yet. However, there are treatments for many of the symptoms plus experimental Treatments & Clinical Trials, and Research Registries for patients. Consult a scleroderma expert for the best care.

Scleroderma Experts (Worldwide List). Whenever possible, always consult a scleroderma expert for the best care for this demanding, complex, and unique disease. ISN.

Systemic Scleroderma Symptoms. It is common for systemic scleroderma to be treated by symptom management only. Look up individual symptoms and treatments through this extensive symptom list. Or, enter your term in the search bar which is at the top of this page. ISN.

Autoimmune Diseases
Brain
Dental/Mouth
Eyes
Fatigue
Gastrointestinal
Heart (Cardiac)
Kidney (Renal)
Liver
Lung (Pulmonary)
Photos of Symptoms
Pregnancy
Raynaud's
Similar Skin Diseases
Sjogren's Syndrome
Skeletal (Bones, Muscles)
Skin and Hair
Vascular

Photopheresis (ECP): Advances and Use in Systemic Sclerosis (SSC). Clinical studies have generally demonstrated improvement, especially the skin, in SSc patients receiving ECP and it may be an effective and safe procedure for the treatment of SSc. PubMed, Curr Rheumatol Rep, 2017 Jun;19(6):31.

Emerging drugs and therapeutics for systemic sclerosis. Systemic sclerosis is a heterogeneous rare disease that carries a high burden of morbidity and mortality. Organ based management strategies have improved the natural history of systemic sclerosis using targeted interventions or strategies, particularly vascular features. PubMed, Expert Opin Emerg Drugs, 2016 Dec;21(4):421-430.

Frontiers of antifibrotic therapy in systemic sclerosis (SSc). In the present review, we discuss novel insights into the pathogenesis of fibrotic diseases using SSc as an example and we highlight the molecular basis for ongoing clinical trials in SSc. PubMed, Arthritis Rheumatol, 09/16/2016.

Current perspectives on the immunopathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Although activation of the immune system has long been recognized, the mechanisms responsible for the initiation of autoimmunity and the role of immune effector pathways in the pathogenesis of SSc remain incompletely understood. PubMed, Immunotargets Ther, 2016 Apr 11;5:21-35.

Treatment of Rapidly Progressive Systemic Sclerosis (SSc): Current and Futures Perspectives. The extent, severity, and rate of progression of SSc skin and internal organ involvement determines the optimal therapeutic interventions for SSc. PubMed, Expert Opin Orphan Drugs. 2016;4(1):31-47.

Cat by Lisa Volz, ISN ArtistA word of caution regarding single-center, retrospective studies. Patients frequently improve on placebo. Patients who are improving usually attribute it to their therapy and thus stay with it. Thus uncontrolled cohorts become enriched for "responders" while failures seek other paths. This dynamic underlies virtually all therapeutic "breakthroughs" which is why large scale double-blinded clinical trials are crucial for determining valid scleroderma treatments.

A retrospective randomly selected cohort study of D-penicillamine treatment in rapidly progressive diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis of recent onset. In a population of patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, with progressive disease of recent onset, D-penicillamine treatment at a median dose of 750 mg per day caused a statistically significant reduction in skin involvement and improvement of renal, cardiac and pulmonary involvement. PubMed, Br J Dermatol. (Also see Clinical Trials, and Skin Fibrosis)

Scleroderma Clinical Trials and Open Enrollments Includes proven treatments, unproven, open enrollments, pending results, and research registries. ISN.

Scleroderma Related Medications MedicineNet

Advances in pathogenesis and treatment of systemic sclerosis. Immunosuppression is now established as a beneficial approach but balancing risk and benefit is vital, especially for powerful approaches such as autologous stem cell transplantation. PubMed, Clin Med, 2015 Dec;15 Suppl 6:s58-63. (Also see Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplantation and Immunosuppressants)

Frequent Monitoring Critical to Effectively Manage Scleroderma. Treatment can help control the symptoms. Drugs that suppress the body's immune response may help, along with medications to improve blood circulation (vasodilators). Also helpful are self-care techniques such as frequently moisturizing the skin, exercising regularly, not smoking and keeping the hands and feet warm. Nisha Manek, MD. Mayo Clinic.

Iloprost, Ventavist (Prostacyclin)

Comparative Safety and Tolerability of Prostacyclins (PG12) in Pulmonary Hypertension (PAH). The development of PGI2 analogues has improved survival in patients with PAH and remains the main treatment option in advanced disease. PubMed, Drug Saf, 2016 Apr;39(4):287-94. (Also see Iloprost, Ventavist)

Role of Vasodilator Testing in Pulmonary Hypertension (PAH). To identify patients who are likely to have a beneficial response to calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and therefore a better prognosis, acute vasodilator testing should be performed in patients in certain subsets of PAH. PubMed, Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 2016 Jan-Feb;58(4):425-33. (Also see Iloprost, Ventavist)

Iloprost reverses established fibrosis in experimental right ventricular (RV) failure. Inhaled iloprost improves RV function and reverses established RV fibrosis partially by preventing collagen synthesis and by increasing collagen turnover. PubMed, Eur Respir J, 2015 Feb;45(2):449-62. (Also see Iloprost, Ventavist)

Scleroderma Symptoms ISN.

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