Systemic sclerosis: current pathogenetic concepts and future prospects for targeted therapy

Lancet. 1996 May 25;347(9013):1453-8.


Although there is no cure for systemic sclerosis, the disease is certainly treatable. And the more that is understood of its pathogenesis, the better the prospects for treatment. Excessive collagen deposition in the skin and viscera is responsible for the morbidity and mortality. The immune system plays a critical role in setting up the fibrotic process, but impaired regulation of collagen gene expression probably underlies the persistence of fibrosis. The development of effective antifibrotic drugs, in particular agents that inhibit transcription factors involved in the activation of type I collagen genes, is likely to be the way forward for treatment of the later stages of diffuse systemic sclerosis, with immunomodulatory therapy for the earlier stages.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Collagen / genetics
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / drug therapy
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / etiology
  • Scleroderma, Systemic* / immunology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Collagen
  • Prednisolone