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Could autologous adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction turn out an unwanted source of profibrotic myofibroblasts in systemic sclerosis?
  1. Mirko Manetti
  1. Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy and Histology, University of Florence, Florence I-50134, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mirko Manetti, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Section of Anatomy and Histology, University of Florence, Florence I-50134, Italy; mirko.manetti{at}unifi.it

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With great interest, I read the recent publication by Magalon et al1 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The results of this study are placed in the scenario of a quite complex disease featuring vasculopathy, autoimmunity and extensive multiorgan fibrosis whose life-threatening nature is well testified by a 5-year mortality of 30%–50% in a subset of patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (SSc) and internal organ involvement.2 Although substantial basic/translational and clinical research progresses have been achieved over the past decade, current treatments are mainly organ based and do not result in a cure which highlights the urgent need of developing new potentially disease-modifying therapies and personalised medicine approaches.2

In this context, the adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (ADSVF) has recently gained attention as an innovative biotherapy because of its abundance of mesenchymal-like stem/stromal cells (referred to as adipose-derived stem cells; ADSC), accessibility and ease of harvest. The same research team has previously reported encouraging results from a phase I clinical trial showing a good safety profile and a potential efficacy of local injection of autologous ADSVF to treat hand disability in patients with SSc. …

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