Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for systemic sclerosis: History and current status

Richard K Burt*, Francesca Milanettib

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) remains one of the last severe autoimmune disease with a poor prognosis and modest response to immunosuppressive therapy. Mortality in severe diffuse disease with internal organ involvement is elevated. Autologous hematopoietic transplantation (HSCT) has emerged in the last decade as a promising disease-modifying treatment. Recent findings: In phase I/II trials, HSCT has demonstrated to induce impressive reversal of skin fibrosis, neoangiogenesis, improved functionality and quality of life, and stabilization of internal organ function. Treatment-related mortality was reduced over time by better pretransplant evaluation and by treating patients earlier in disease. Summary: Two out of three randomized trials of autologous HSCT for SSc have been concluded: the nonmyeloablative American Systemic Sclerosis Immune Suppression versus Transplant, and Autologous Stem cell Transplantation International Scleroderma. The myeloablative Scleroderma Cyclophosphamide versus Transplant instead is still recruiting patients. The soon expected results from these trials should clarify the role of autologous HSCT in the challenging management of severe SSc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-529
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • Hematopoietic stem cell
  • Scleroderma
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for systemic sclerosis: History and current status'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this