Novel therapeutic strategies in scleroderma

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 1999 Oct;1(1):22-7. doi: 10.1007/s11926-999-0020-6.


Optimal management for scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is likely to require treatment of the underlying disease process, which remains incompletely understood, and also of the organ-based complications of this heterogeneous condition. Clinical trials evaluating several potential agents have been completed recently, including D-penicillamine and interferon alpha. Unfortunately none of these studies has suggested significant efficacy. This article focuses on new treatment approaches using existing therapeutic agents, such as prostacyclin, and considers the potential usefulness of new agents (eg, relaxin, halofuginone) or strategies such as intensive immunosuppression with peripheral stem cell rescue. Ultimately, a better understanding of disease pathogenesis may facilitate the development of targeted therapy against key events or mediators, but for the present better evaluation of existing agents and a focus on optimizing protocols for organ-based complications, such as pulmonary vascular disease or hypertensive renal crisis, are important goals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Minocycline / administration & dosage
  • Nitric Oxide / administration & dosage
  • Piperidines
  • Prognosis
  • Quinazolines / administration & dosage
  • Quinazolinones
  • Relaxin / administration & dosage
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Quinazolines
  • Quinazolinones
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Relaxin
  • Minocycline
  • halofuginone