Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus; SLE) and Systemic Sclerosis (scleroderma; SSc) are relatively rare rheumatic diseases that disproportionately impact the African American community, and particularly African American women. The causes of lupus and scleroderma are unknown, but thought to include both genetic and environmental factors. We are enrolling lupus and scleroderma patients, and healthy control subjects. This is not a drug study. The purpose of this study is to better understand the factors that predispose people to develop lupus and scleroderma. Information about medical, social and family history, medications, physical exam findings, and laboratory tests will be collected for analysis. This study will involve approximately 1360 volunteers.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) obtained from umbilical cords for the treatment of adults with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The goal of this study is to determine if patients receiving an MSC infusion plus standard of care respond better than patients receiving a placebo infusion plus standard of care.