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Ann Rheum Dis 64:1515 doi:10.1136/ard.2005.043240
  • EULAR news

Autologous Stem cell Transplantation International Scleroderma (ASTIS) trial: hope on the horizon for patients with severe systemic sclerosis

  1. J M van Laar1,
  2. D Farge2,
  3. A Tyndall3
  1. 1Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Hopital St Louis, Paris, France
  3. 3Felix-Platter Spital, Basel, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J M van Laar
    Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands; j.m.van_laarlumc.nl

    The ASTIS (Autologous Stem cell Transplantation International Scleroderma) trial was launched in 2001 under the auspices of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the European Group for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) to compare safety and efficacy of high dose immunosuppressive treatment (HDIT) and autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) with 12×monthly treatments with intravenous pulse cyclophosphamide (750 mg/m2). The trial builds upon the results from previous pilot studies conducted in various European centres, which demonstrated the feasibility and potential long term benefits of HDIT + HSCT in patients with severe rheumatic autoimmune diseases, including progressive systemic sclerosis. To combine safety and efficacy, a medium …