Scleroderma: it has been a long hard journey

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Abstract

Progress in the understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) has been painfully slow and this has greatly impeded the application of specific disease modifying treatments. This article provides a brief historical overview of scleroderma (including the important Australian contribution of Dr Alfred Barnett and colleagues — see accompanying article in this issue on pages 513–18), highlights some recent pathogenic developments and summarises some exciting new therapies. Cautious optimism can now be offered to scleroderma sufferers.

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