Marisa Wexler, MS, senior science writer —

Marisa holds a Master of Science in cellular and molecular pathology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied novel genetic drivers of ovarian cancer. Her areas of expertise include cancer biology, immunology, and genetics, and she has worked as a science writing and communications intern for the Genetics Society of America.

Articles by Marisa Wexler

Living with scleroderma can affect your sense of self, women say

Living with scleroderma requires adapting to changes in a woman’s sense of self, but practicing gratitude and accepting change can help patients reclaim themselves, a study aiming for a “grounded theory” of identify management reports. Its scientists said these findings may lay the groundwork for future studies aiming to…

FDA puts cell therapy CABA-201 on fast track for scleroderma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted fast track designation to the cell therapy CABA-201 for organ dysfunction in people with scleroderma. The agency also granted CABA-201 fast track status to reduce disease activity in people with dermatomyositis, another rare disorder that’s marked by muscle weakness and…

FT011 showed promising effects on disability, lung function in trial

Treatment with FT011 led to clinically meaningful improvements in physical disability and lung function for some scleroderma patients given the experimental therapy in a Phase 2 clinical trial. Christopher Denton, MD, a professor at University College London, shared the results at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2023…

FT011 granted orphan drug designation from FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to FT011, an experimental oral medication that Certa Therapeutics is developing as a treatment for systemic sclerosis. The FDA gives this designation to investigational treatments for rare diseases, those affecting fewer than 200,000 people…

Anti-inflammatory medicine eases fibrosis in cell, animal disease models

Treatment with iguratimod, an anti-inflammatory medication, reduced fibrosis (scarring) in cell and mouse models of scleroderma, a study from China reports. An approved therapy in that country, “iguratimod is a promising disease-modifying drug with an anti-fibrotic effect,” the researchers wrote. “It is reasonable to further investigate the efficacy of…

Severe symptoms more likely noted by younger, nonwhite patients

People with scleroderma who report more severe disease symptoms tend to be younger and nonwhite, a new study reports. The study, “Patterns of patient-reported symptoms and association with sociodemographic and systemic sclerosis disease characteristics: a scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN) Cohort cross-sectional study,” was published in …

Anti-inflammatory signaling molecule IL-35 is reduced in SSc

People with scleroderma tend to have lower levels of an anti-inflammatory signaling molecule called interleukin-35 (IL-35), a study reports. Patients with lower IL-35 levels tend to have more skin scarring, according to “Impaired Regulation by IL-35 in Systemic Sclerosis,” which was published in the International…

SSc patients often have plaque buildup in heart arteries

About 40% of systemic scleroderma (SSc) patients have subclinical coronary atherosclerosis (SCA), or the buildup of fatty deposits called plaques in the arteries that supply the heart without causing overt symptoms, according to a study in Italy. Data also showed that most patients who experienced a major cardiovascular event…