The article reports on a study where three patients with severe diffuse Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), a form of autoimmune disease, underwent a treatment involving CD19-targeting CAR-T cells. These cells are a type of therapy that modifies the patient’s T-cells to attack specific antigens, in this case, CD19. The process involved collecting T-cells from the patients’ blood, modifying them in the lab, and then infusing them back into the patients after reducing their existing immune cells with specific drugs.

At six months post-treatment, the results were promising. All three patients, two males and one female, had previously not responded to standard treatments for SSc. They experienced improvements in skin tightness (measured by the modified Rodnan skin score), hand function, and quality of life. Additionally, two patients saw their digital ulcerations disappear, and one patient had improved lung function. The treatment also led to a significant reduction in B-cells and autoantibodies, which are typically elevated in autoimmune conditions.

The study concludes that CD19 CAR-T cell treatment is well-tolerated and potentially effective in stabilizing SSc, showing positive changes in skin condition, hand functionality, and overall disease activity without the need for ongoing immunosuppression.