The ASIG database is now in its 5th year of data collection. There are 12 sites across Australia screening scleroderma patients and actively collecting data. Over 1000 patients have been enrolled in the project.
ASIG Australian Scleroderma Screening Centres
The preliminary data have been presented at a number of conferences, the highlight of 2010 being the World Systemic Sclerosis Congress in Florence, Italy, where Dr Wendy Stevens gave an oral presentation “Pulmonary arterial hypertension in an Australian systemic sclerosis cohort” and Dr Mandy Nikpour presented “Prevalence and correlates of antibodies to RNA polymerase III in systemic sclerosis”. A full list of ASIG publications can be found in the link: ASIG publications.
In May the first edition of Scleroderma Connections, the ASIG newsletter, was distributed at the ARA conference. The aim of the newsletter is to keep patients and their families informed of the latest news from ASIG; a profile of screening centres; current studies; and some practical advice from experts on how to manage common problems arising in scleroderma. Edition 2 was produced in November and both can be read from the links: edition 1 – edition 2. A modified version for screening centre and other interested health practitioners is also available.
The ASIG research fellow for 2011, Dr Vivek Thakkar, will commence in February. Dr Thakkar has completed his training in rheumatology and will undertake studies in scleroderma towards a higher degree. He has already demonstrated an aptitude for research during his advanced training so we look forward to his contribution to the Australian Scleroderma Screening Programme.
The group has a number of projects underway and there are opportunities for more. Following is a summary:
- A major focus of the scleroderma research is the incidence and prevalence of PAH and associated risk and prognostic factors – to be explored further by the ASIG fellow, Dr Vivek Thakkar.
- Treatment of Scleroderma lung disease with mycophenolate is being examined.
- Prevalence and correlates of Antibodies to RNA Polymerase III in Systemic Sclerosis.
- High resolution CT lung in scleroderma – funded by Scleroderma Australia.
- Prevalence of coronary artery disease in the scleroderma cohort – a PhD thesis for Dr Gene Ngian.
- Cardiolipin antibodies, their prevalence and significance in SSc.
- Novel screening biomarkers for pulmonary arterial hypertension in scleroderma - funded by Scleroderma Australia.
- Effect of immunosuppressive drugs in SSc-ILD – the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group.
- Studies of an extended autoantibody profile in scleroderma.
For further information about ASIG or the contact details for the Australian Scleroderma Screening Programs, contact…
The ASIG Project Manager:
Or the ASIG Chair:
A/Prof Susanna Proudman
Senior Consultant in Rheumatology
Royal Adelaide Hospital
Tel: +618 8222 5190
fax: +618 8222 5895
Page updated 29 March 2012