The medical landscape is continuously evolving, and with these advancements, hope blossoms for patients suffering from severe autoimmune diseases (ADs). Notably, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has surfaced as a beacon of potential curative therapy for a range of ADs such as systemic sclerosis (SSc) and multiple sclerosis (MS). A recent publication in La Revue de medecine interne details the establishment of National Diagnostic and Care Protocols (NDCP) for HSCT in treating these ADs. This pivotal development comes after 25 years of clinical research and is backed by international medical societies, highlighting a turning point in autoimmunology and patient care practices.

In-depth Overview of National Diagnostic and Care Protocols (NDCP) for HSCT

The NDCP delineates a standardized approach for indication, procedure, and follow-up of HSCT in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. These recommendations, coordinated by the Île-de-France MATHEC Reference Centre for Rare Systemic Autoimmune Diseases and associated entities, provide a critical framework for practicing clinicians. The guidelines were meticulously derived from data and consensus among 3 patients and 64 clinical experts across French centres, emphasizing a multidisciplinary and patient-centric approach.

Guidelines for Current Indications and Procedures

The article, with a DOI reference of 10.1016/j.revmed.2023.12.008, specifies that HSCT is now a validated treatment modality for severe, early systemic sclerosis and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is also a recommended alternative treatment for ADs refractory to conventional therapy, including selective cases of connective tissue diseases, vasculitis, inflammatory neurological diseases, and, in rare scenarios, severe refractory Crohn’s disease.

To ensure patient safety, the selection process and conditioning regimen are approved at national MATHEC multidisciplinary team meetings, following a comprehensive patient evaluation. Procedural aspects and follow-up of HSCT are managed in accredited centres with experience in cellular therapy and AD specialization.

Impact and Future Implications of NDCP Implementation

The NDCP’s systematic approach promises to enhance clinical outcomes for patients with severe autoimmune diseases. By establishing clear guidelines, clinicians can provide evidence-based recommendations, augmenting the probability of successful treatments. Additionally, the NDCP sets a roadmap for future clinical research, with the collective goal of refining and expanding the protocols as new data surfaces.

Advancements and Exceptions in the NDCP

The protocols address the state of current approved treatments but notably exclude emerging cellular therapies not yet approved for clinical practice or those still under clinical research. This careful approach underlines the focus on validated, evidence-based care within the scope of HSCT.


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2. National Diagnostic and Care Protocols HSCT
3. Stem cell therapy systemic sclerosis
4. HSCT treatment multiple sclerosis
5. Autoimmune disease refractory treatment


1. Farge D, Pugnet G, Allez M, et al. National diagnostic and care protocols (NDCP) for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in autoimmune diseases. La Revue de medecine interne. 2024 Jan 13; S0248-8663(24)00001-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.revmed.2023.12.008.
2. Tyndall A, Saccardi R. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of severe autoimmune disease: results from an European Phase II study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2001;60(7):702‐707. DOI: 10.1136/ard.60.7.702.
3. Burt RK, Balabanov R, Han X, et al. Association of Nonmyeloablative Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation with Neurological Disability in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. JAMA. 2015;313(3):275-284. DOI:10.1001/jama.2014.17986.
4. Snowden JA, Panés J, Alexander T, et al. Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for Crohn’s disease: a retrospective survey of long-term outcomes from the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. J Crohns Colitis. 2018;12(9):1097-1103. DOI: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjy052.
5. Sullivan KM, Shah A, Sarantopoulos S, et al. Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Autoimmune Disease: Updates From Europe and the United States. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018;24(1):23-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.07.012.


The pioneering development of NDCP for HSCT in the treatment of autoimmune diseases signifies a transformative approach in this medical domain. The collaborative efforts between patients and clinical experts have resulted in protocols that not only offer renewed hope but also solidify a viable treatment path for those afflicted by severe autoimmune conditions. With ongoing research and updates to the protocols, the integration of HSCT in routine care is poised to continue advancing the field and improving patient outcomes.