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Combining systemic and locally applied cellular therapies for the treatment of systemic sclerosis

Abstract

Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by a functional and structural alteration of the microvascular network associated with cutaneous and visceral fibrosis lesions. Conventional therapies are based on the use of immunomodulatory molecules and symptomatic management but often prove to be insufficient, particularly for patients suffering from severe and rapidly progressive forms of the disease. In this context, cellular therapy approaches could represent a credible solution with the goal to act on the different components of the disease: the immune system, the vascular system and the extracellular matrix. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the cellular therapies available for the management of SSc. The first part will focus on systemically injected therapies, whose primary effect is based on immunomodulatory properties and immune system resetting, including autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and intravenous injection of mesenchymal stem cells. The second part will discuss locally administered regenerative cell therapies, mainly derived from adipose tissue, developed for the management of local complications as hand and face disabilities.

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Fig. 1: Overview of the cell-based therapies available for the management of SSc.

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Conceptualization: MV, AD, FDG, CC, FS. Writing—original draft preparation: MV, AD, SS, RA, JM, AB. Writing—review and editing: BG, CC, FS.

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Correspondence to Mélanie Velier.

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Velier, M., Daumas, A., Simoncini, S. et al. Combining systemic and locally applied cellular therapies for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. Bone Marrow Transplant (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01492-7

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