B-cell depletion with rituximab: a promising treatment for diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis
Musculoskeletal Research Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, 4th Floor, Cookson Building, The Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:112 doi:10.1186/ar2977
See related research by Bosello et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/12/2/R54Published: 22 April 2010
Recent preclinical and clinical studies lend support to the notion that B-cell depletion is a promising therapeutic target in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. A recent open-label trial provides further evidence showing marked effects of rituximab treatment on skin thickening, functional ability, and disease activity in conjunction with effects on lesional and circulating B cells and on interleukin-6 and BAFF (B-cell activating factor of tumor necrosis factor family). The excellent safety profile of rituximab in this and other trials warrants further well-designed clinical trials in larger patient groups combined with comprehensive biomarker studies.