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Volume 30, Issue 1, March 2019



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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2019;30(1):33-7
Treatment of systemic sclerosis associated fibrotic manifestations: Current options and future directions
Authors Information

Department of Rheumatology, University of Patras Medical School, Patras University Hospital, Patras, Greece

Abstract
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a complicated multisystem disease which is characterized by the highest standardized mortality ratio among all systemic rheumatic diseases with no approved therapies so far.  From a pathogenetic point of view it is generally considered that autoimmunity, vasculopathy and fibrosis are the main pathophysiologic processes.  In this opinion article/minireview we will discuss current and future options for SSc-related fibrotic manifestations (skin thickening and lung fibrosis).  Based on the results of SLS II the best treatment option for skin involvement in SSc is mycophenolate mofetil (MMF).  Methotrexate (MTX) is another option which is safe and of low cost but evidence supporting its use is weak.  The standard of care for SSc-ILD nowadays is MMF.  Patients not responding to MMF could be treated with rituximab (RTX) or cyclophosphamide (CYC) (tocilizumab [TCZ] could be an option as well but only for patients with increased inflammatory markers).  Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) could be considered in patients with severe/life-threatening disease who have failed conventional treatment.  The most promising therapeutic approach currently been evaluated in phase 3 trials is probably the combination of MMF plus pirfenidone.