SSc-ILD studie: De rol van ontsteking, fibrose en verkalkingen in de longen bij patiënten met Systemische Sclerose.
The current project is a partnership between Sanofi-Genzyme Europe and UMCG Groningen to explore the role of interleukin-6 in Systemic Sclerosis related Interstitial Lung Disease, potentially paving the way for future clinical studies leading to innovative treatment strategies in this field.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare progressive autoimmune disease hallmarked by severe vasculopathy, leading to skin and internal organ complications and premature mortality. A considerable proportion of SSc patients develop Systemic Sclerosis related Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD), for which treatment options are limited. Although extensive SSc-ILD has been shown to be associated with large fibroproliferative changes, early phases of limited SSc-ILD seem to be characterised by local inflammation. Pre-clinical and early clinical studies indicate that interleukin-6 (IL-6) may play a central role during the early phase of SSc-ILD. Currently, several drugs have been market that can directly intervene with the interaction between IL-6 and it’s receptor, potentially avoiding irreversible lung damage at an early stage.
In the current project they are performing bronchoscopies with which they will derive brocheal alveolar fluids. In this BAL fluid they will be able to assess cytokine profiles (including IL-6) and cells involved in the process of ILD in SSc. They will include patients with SSc with varying lung involvement.
This is an explorative study yielding new insight potentially paving the way for future studies in this field. The ultimate deliverable will be finding prove for treatment of patients with SSc at an early stage to prevent irreversible lung disease.