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Dr. Mark Nicolls specializes in the treatment of lung transplant patients. He has practiced pulmonary and critical care medicine for 20 years. Dr. Nicolls has a special interest in how the immune system contributes to vascular disease and has a basic science laboratory which focuses on lung transplantation, pulmonary hypertension, and lymphedema.
Our lab focuses primarily on the contribution of the immune response to lung disease. We are specifically examining the contribution of inflammation to the development of vascular injury in transplantation, pulmonary hypertension and lymphedema.
Rituximab for Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (SSc-PAH)
Systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (SSc-PAH) is a serious,
life-threatening manifestation of systemic sclerosis (SSc), an autoimmune disease of the
connective tissue characterized by scarring (fibrosis) and atrophy of the skin, joints and
tendons, skeletal muscles, and internal organs, and immunological disturbances. One-year
survival for patients with SSc-PAH ranges from 50-81%. There is currently no cure for SSc-PAH
and treatment is limited to vasodilator therapy used in all forms of PAH. In recent studies,
immunotherapy was shown to be effective in treating SSc-interstitial lung disease, another
serious, life-threatening manifestation of SSc. In addition, there are compelling
pre-clinical data and anecdotal clinical reports that suggest modulation of the immune system
may be an effective strategy for treating SSc-PAH. To test this approach, this trial will
determine if rituximab, an immunotherapy, has a marked beneficial effect on clinical disease
progression, with minimal toxicity, in patients with SSc-PAH when compared to placebo.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Val Scott, 650-725-8082.
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