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May 1997

Systemic Scleroderma: Multicenter Trial of 1 Year of Treatment With Recombinant Interferon Gamma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (Drs Hunzelmann, Anders, and Krieg and Mr Thur); Department of Dermatology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (Drs Fierlbeck and Wehner-Caroli); Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany (Dr Hein); Department of Dermatology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany (Drs Herrmann and Albrecht); Department of Dermatology, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, Munich, Germany (Dr Bell); Institute for Biostatistics, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany (Drs Muche and Gaus); and Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Munich (Dr Adelmann-Grill).

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(5):609-613. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890410065008

Objective:  To confirm significant improvement of the skin score in systemic sclerosis by treatment with interferon gamma in a larger group of patients and to investigate on a molecular level the influence of interferon gamma on collagen type I messenger RNA expression.

Design:  Open, noncontrolled multicenter study. Setting: Five outpatient clinics specializing in the care of systemic scleroderma.

Patients:  Thirty-two patients suffering from the diffuse or limited form of systemic sclerosis and progressive disease were recruited; 20 patients finished the study.

Intervention:  Each patient received interferon gamma, 50 μg subcutaneously 3 times a week for 1 year.

Main Outcome Measure:  Skin score, collagen type I messenger RNA in skin biopsy specimens.

Results:  The patients who completed the study showed an unchanged median skin score after 1 year of therapy. In addition, similar collagen type I messenger RNA levels were detected in skin biopsy specimens taken from involved skin before and after therapy in these patients.

Conclusions:  Treatment of systemic scleroderma with interferon gamma is associated with stabilization of the skin score and lack of worsening of visceral involvement.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:609-613

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