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Systemic sclerosis is a progressive inflammatory disease that is frequently fatal and has limited treatment options. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT) has been evaluated as treatment for this disease in observational studies, multicenter randomized controlled clinical trials, and meta-analyses. On behalf of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), a panel of experts in transplantation and rheumatology was convened to review available evidence and make a recommendation on AHCT as an indication for systemic sclerosis. Three randomized trials have compared the efficacy of AHCT with cyclophosphamide only, and all demonstrated benefit for the AHCT arm for their primary endpoint (improvement in the American Scleroderma Stem Cell versus Immune Suppression Trial, event-free survival in Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation International Scleroderma trial, and change in global rank composite score in Scleroderma: Cyclophosphamide or Transplantation trial). AHCT recipients also had better overall survival and a lower rate of disease progression. These findings have been confirmed in subsequent meta-analyses. Based on this high-quality evidence, the ASBMT recommends systemic sclerosis should be considered as a "standard of care" indication for AHCT. Close collaboration between rheumatologists and transplant clinicians is critical for optimizing patient selection and patient outcomes. Transplant centers in the United States are strongly encouraged to report patient and outcomes data to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research on their patients receiving AHCT for this indication.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.