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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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