Richard Burt, MD, of Northwestern University is looking to harness the power of autologous, patient-derived stem cells for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. His previous work in a clinical trial with scleroderma motivated a new phase 3 clinical trial, entitled “Autologous Stem Cell Systemic Sclerosis Immune Suppression Trial (DIScl2011).” The trial is currently recruiting up to 160 patients, with a goal of completing the trial by September 2018.

This treatment regimen uses cyclophosphamide to mobilize patients’ peripheral blood stem cells. A few days after mobilization, cells will be collected and preserved until re-infusion into the patient.

“This study will determine if the less cardiotoxic regimen will be safer than the standard regimen and as effective as the standard regimen,” stated the researchers. If just as effective, this new treatment regimen would prove extremely valuable to patients with systemic sclerosis, as they would benefit from a more-safe approach to reversing their symptoms.