Healthy Living

What's in Store for Rheumatology in 2018?

Severe systemic sclerosis and myeloablative autologous stem cell transplantation

High mortality rates have restricted the use of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in individuals with severe systemic sclerosis. Results from a recent clinical trial on myeloablative autologous stem cell transplantation in patients diagnosed with severe systemic sclerosis over the past 5 years or less, showed that HSCT improved side effects, overall survival rates, and reduced the need for disease-modifying antirheumatic medications. However, it was found that the mortality rate was 3% within the first 4 and a half years and it rose to 6% after 6 years. Although these results seem to be lower than those found in previous trials conducted on HSCT, more detailed information on patient selection and transplantation methods is necessary in an attempt to reduce the risks related to HCST.