ACTRN12611000826943

This observational study is a retrospective review of patients with severe systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis that have had a blood stem cell transplantation as a means of immunosuppression to achieve disease remission. The study is being conducted by the Haematology Department of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. Patients identified to have had haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the previous 15 years for systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis will be invited to participate in this study. The participants will be required to fill out questionnaires documenting and quantifying the progress, current state of their illness and how it impacts their daily life. After reviewing this information, suitable patients will be invited to attend an interview where details of their medical history and prior procedure will be recorded. All this information will be used to record the primary outcome measure i.e. safety and effectiveness of Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transfer (HSCT). The patients will also be required to have a sample of blood drawn for stem cell markers to determine the degree of disease activity. The trial began in August 2008 with a view to recruiting 25 patients is still open and recruiting patients.