Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune connective tissue disease characterized by autoantibodies, fibrosis and microvascular injury and endothelial cell activation that results in vascular damage. Vascular injury induces both innate and acquired immune responses resulting in fibroblast activation and organ fibrosis. SSc may target multiple organs, including: skin, lungs, heart, vascularization, kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract and musculoskeletal structures. Mortality among scleroderma patients is significant, with a 3.5 standardized mortality ratio (SMR) in studies of prevalent cases. This mortality may be increased in the early years of the disease, reaching a SMR of 4 in a multinational inception cohort. In general, treatment strategies target involved organs as early as possible to avoid damage. Many treatment options are available for each manifestation, but evidence with respect to the order of treatment is scarce. Financial costs, the lack of proper outcome measures, difficulty to recruit patients as a rare disease, all prevent the development of new big clinical trials, oppositely to other common diseases such as stroke or cancer. The heterogeneous features of SSc may make trials challenging. The current guidelines available are the British guidelines (2017) , and the updated European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) guidelines, published in 2017. Management guidelines have some gaps regarding second-line treatment, combinations and there are no proposed algorithms.
With the pragmatic trials, the investigators intend to fill the gap between the complicated randomized clinical trials and the observational studies. Using the treatments that have already been proved useful in SSc, in an open-label randomized way and based on some refined expert-made algorithms, will allow the investigators to establish the order in how to use them.
Patients will be offered to participate with the collection of their clinical data and, if they give their consent, they will be randomized according to the algorithms. There will be an optional part of the study consisting in the collection of blood samples and skin samples for future research. Waitlist Available Has No Placebo Learn More Saint Joseph's Health Care London