McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Gift boosts research, education and care in scleroderma

Published: April 11, 2011
Gerard Cox
Gerard Cox, co-chair of the Hamilton Scleroderma Group and a professor of medicine at McMaster

McMaster University clinician scientists are poised to bring together education, research and patient care in scleroderma following a $456,000 gift to St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

The donation — the largest in the history of the Scleroderma Society of Ontario (SSO) — supports the Hamilton Scleroderma Group (HSG), an interdisciplinary clinic at St. Joseph's Charlton Campus that specializes in the research, treatment and care of people living with scleroderma. All of the group's doctors are attending physicians at academic hospital partner St. Joseph's and faculty members at McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune connective tissue disease that affects small blood vessels and causes excess collagen accumulation. It causes a thickening of the skin or tissue on internal organs. It can also cause joint swelling and pain. At present, there is no cure for the disease, though treatment options are available to slow its progression and help with symptoms. It is estimated that some 40,000 Canadians are living with the disease.

"Scleroderma is a complex disease, with varying symptoms and many compounding medical concerns," said Gerard Cox, co-chair of the Hamilton Scleroderma Group and a professor of medicine at McMaster.

"We're unsure of its root cause, and right now there is no cure. But by combining clinical care with scientific research, we're enhancing our understanding of the disease and ensuring our patients have access to clinicians who are educated in the latest advances in scleroderma care."

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