New Directions Targeting Inflammatory and Fibrotic Pathways in the Management of SSc-ILD

Released On
July 29, 2021

Expires On
July 29, 2022

Media Type

Completion Time
60 minutes

Dermatology, Pathology, Primary Care, Pulmonology, Radiology, Rheumatology

Pulmonary Fibrosis, Respiratory

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This activity is provided by Paradigm Medical Communications, LLC in collaboration with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.

Credit Available

  • Physicians — maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

All other health care professionals completing this course will be issued a statement of participation.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to address the educational needs of academic and community-based pulmonologists and rheumatologists. It may also benefit pathologists, radiologists, dermatologists, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, PAs, pharmacists, nurses, residents, fellows, and other healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD).

Program Overview

Scleroderma or systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by fibrosis in the skin and internal organs, including the lungs, that results in increased morbidity and mortality for patients. SSc-ILD occurs in the majority of patients. Due to the rarity of the disease and the heterogeneity of symptoms, patients often experience diagnostic delay until referral to an appropriate specialist, thus delaying the opportunity for early treatment. For patients with risk factors for severe interstitial lung disease (ILD), rapid progression often occurs within the first 5 years from diagnosis. There is no curative treatment for SSc, but immunosuppressive agents, including the most recently approved, tocilizumab, and antifibrotics are available to delay the progression of SSc-ILD. Clinicians need to recognize the risk factors for severe SSc-ILD in patients with SSc and perform appropriate baseline testing and ongoing monitoring for ILD; patients presenting with symptoms of ILD need appropriate screening to make an appropriate diagnosis of SSc-ILD, so that therapy can be initiated. Data for the newest agents need to be disseminated and discussed by clinicians to establish the roles of these agents in the treatment of SSc-ILD. Clinicians in regions with centers of excellence need to stay up to date with rapidly emerging data, and clinicians in communities further removed from these centers need to be knowledgeable of SSc-ILD and centers of excellence to refer patients for cutting-edge care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Assess patient risk factors for progressive SSc-ILD
  • Describe recommended monitoring for patients with scleroderma and SSc-ILD
  • Develop appropriate, evidence-based treatment plans for patients who have SSc-ILD
  • Summarize data on emerging agents for the treatment of SSc-ILD



Robert W. Hallowell, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program
Pulmonary Clinic Director
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA

Kristin B. Highland, MD

Director, Rheumatic Lung Disease Program
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, OH

Elizabeth R. Volkmann, MD, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, UCLA Scleroderma Program
Co-Director, UCLA CTD-ILD Program
Division of Rheumatology
Department of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles
David Geffen School of Medicine
Los Angeles, CA

Physician Accreditation Statement

Paradigm Medical Communications, LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit Designation

Paradigm Medical Communications, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

PA Continuing Education

PAs may claim a maximum of 1.0 Category 1 credit for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

Nurse Practitioner Continuing Education

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Individuals are responsible for checking with the AANPCP for further guidelines.

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest

In accordance with ACCME requirements on disclosure, faculty and contributors are asked to disclose any relationships with commercial interests associated with the area of medicine featured in the activity. These relationships are described below. Any potential conflicts of interest have been resolved.

Robert W. Hallowell, MD

  • Consulting Fees: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Speakers Bureau: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Grant/Research Support: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc


Kristin B. Highland, MD

  • Consulting Fees: Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Genentech Inc.; United Therapeutics Corporation
  • Speakers Bureau: Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.; Bayer Corporation; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Grant/Research Support: Acceleron Pharma; Bayer Corporation; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Gossamer Bio, Inc.; Viela Bio, Inc.


Elizabeth R. Volkmann, MD, MS

  • Consulting Fees: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Grant/Research Support: Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc.; Forbius (recently acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company); Kadmon Holdings, Inc.

Paradigm Medical Communications, LLC staff members have no financial relationships to disclose.

Independent peer reviewer has no financial relationships to disclose.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest

Paradigm Medical Communications, LLC has implemented a system to resolve conflicts of interest for each CME activity to help ensure content is objective, fair and balanced, independent, and aligned with the public interest. Conflicts, if any, are resolved through one or more processes. All CME content in this activity was independently reviewed to ensure that it is free of commercial bias, scientifically rigorous, aligned with the public interest, and compliant with all regulatory guidance and the ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education.

Instructions for Participation and Credit

To receive a CME certificate of participation, you should:

  • Follow instructions to register or log in with your professional information and complete the preactivity assessment
  • View the online activity in its entirety
  • Complete and submit the online posttest and evaluation. You must answer 70% of the posttest questions correctly to earn credit. You will have unlimited opportunities to successfully complete the posttest
A certificate of participation will be available for download/printing immediately following your successful completion of the posttest and evaluation.


For questions regarding CME credit, contact the Paradigm CME Department at (845) 398-5949 or There is no fee required for participation in this activity.

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Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not approved by the FDA.


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Contact Information

For questions regarding CME credit, contact the Paradigm CME Department at (845) 398-5949 or