The challenge of establishing treatment efficacy for cutaneous vascular manifestations of systemic sclerosis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The cutaneous vascular manifestations of systemic sclerosis (SSc) comprise Raynaud's phenomenon, cutaneous ulceration, telangiectasia formation and critical digital ischaemia; each of which are associated with significant disease-related morbidity. Despite the availability of multiple classes of vasodilator therapy, many of which have been the subject of RCTs, a limited number of pharmacological interventions are currently approved for the management of cutaneous vascular manifestations of SSc. Areas covered: A major challenge has been demonstrating treatment efficacy with examples of promising therapies yielding contrasting results in controlled trial settings. Differences between consensus best-practice guidelines, evidence-based recommendations and marketing approvals in different jurisdictions has resulted in geographic variation in clinical practice concerning the management of cutaneous vascular manifestations of SSc. Difficulty demonstrating treatment efficacy risks waning industry engagement for drug development programmes in this field. This article highlights the key challenges in establishing treatment efficacy and barriers that must be overcome to support successful clinical trial programmes across the spectrum of cutaneous vascular manifestations of SSc. Expert commentary: The paucity of approved treatments for cutaneous vascular manifestations of SSc relates as much to challenges in clinical trial design and the need for reliable clinical trial endpoints, as to lack of therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-442
Number of pages12
JournalExpert review of clinical immunology
Volume14
Issue number5
Early online date11 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Systemic sclerosis
  • clinical trials
  • critical digital ischaemia
  • digital ulceration
  • outcome measures
  • telangiectasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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