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Scleroderma Foundation
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eLetter #689 | December 9, 2016  

Results from the SCOT trial of hematopoietic stem cell therapy (HSCT) for scleroderma

The much-anticipated results of the SCOT trial of hematopoietic stem cell therapy (HSCT) for scleroderma were released recently at the annual  meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) meeting in Washington, D.C.

The multicenter trial compared the benefit and safety of intravenous (IV) cyclophosphamide to hematopoietic stem cell therapy (HSCT) for patients with aggressive scleroderma. In a randomized controlled trial, patients treated with HSCT had improved skin score and better event-free survival compared to those treated with monthly IV cyclophosphamide. Serious adverse effects were more frequent in the HSCT group.

At 54 months, HSCT treated patients had 91 percent survival compared to 77 percent in cyclophosphamide treated patients. These encouraging results suggest that HSCT may be a treatment option for a carefully selected group of patients who have serious scleroderma and no contraindications for HSCT.

In light of the serious adverse effects and mortality associated in some cases with HSCT, patients should be  carefully evaluated by physicians  experienced with scleroderma and HSCT to determine whether this treatment option is appropriate for them.

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Video: Khanna discussed tocilizumab scleroderma extension trial

Dr. Dinesh Khanna.jpgWASHINGTON — At the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, Dinesh Khanna, MD, rheumatologist and director of the scleroderma program at the University of Michigan, reviewed open-label extension data from the fasscinate trial.

The trial was a phase 2 randomized controlled study of subcutaneous tocilizumab for patients with early systemic sclerosis (SSc) that was extended an additional 48 weeks from the initial 48-week period.

Dr. Khanna is a member of the Scleroderma Foundation's National Medical and Scientific Advisory Board.

View video now >>

Note: The phase 3 trial is currently recruiting and more information can be found here to see if you qualify for the study.

Healthy Sleep Tips


The National Sleep Foundation offers some helpful hints to get you snoozing in no-time each night. Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good sleep hygiene. 

Find out more about these useful good sleep hygiene tips >>

Video: Practical Tips to Manage Fatigue

Practical Tips for Fatigue

In this interactive session, Janet Poole, PhD., reviews strategies to manage fatigue including diaries to see patterns of fatigue. She also discusses ways to save and budget energy such as prioritizing, pacing, and changing postures, activities and the environment.

Watch the entire session >>

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Disclaimer: The Scleroderma Foundation in no way endorses any drugs, treatments, clinical trials, or studies reported in the eLetter. Information is provided to keep the readers informed. Because the manifestations and severity of scleroderma vary among individuals, personalized medical management is essential. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all drugs and treatments be discussed with the reader’s physician(s) for proper evaluation and treatment.

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