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Human pilot studies reveal the potential of a vitronectin: growth factor complex as a treatment for chronic wounds

Authors


Professor Z Upton, PhD, Tissue Repair and Regeneration Program, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Ave., Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Queensland 4059, Australia
E-mail:z.upton@qut.edu.au

Abstract

Several different advanced treatments have been used to improve healing in chronic wounds, but none have shown sustained success. The application of topical growth factors (GFs) has displayed some potential, but the varying results, high doses and high costs have limited their widespread adoption. Many treatments have ignored the evidence that wound healing is driven by interactions between extracellular matrix proteins and GFs, not just GFs alone. We report herein that a clinical Good Manufacturing Practice-grade vitronectin:growth factor (cVN:GF) complex is able to stimulate functions relevant to wound repair in vitro, such as enhanced cellular proliferation and migration. Furthermore, we assessed this complex as a topical wound healing agent in a single-arm pilot study using venous leg ulcers, as well as several ‘difficult to heal’ case studies. The cVN:GF complex was safe and re-epithelialisation was observed in all but 1 of the 30 patients in the pilot study. In addition, the case studies show that this complex may be applied to several ulcer aetiologies, such as venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers. These findings suggest that further evaluation is warranted to determine whether the cVN:GF complex may be an effective topical treatment for chronic wounds.

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