June 2013

Author(s): 
Danielle Chicano, Editorial Associate

   Despite the tragic events at this year’s marathon, Dr. Palamarchuk maintains that he will be in attendance next year to continue the tradition.

   “It’s a duty. We’ve done it all these years,” he adds. “You know the race will go on.”

Study Finds Favorable Results With Apligraf For Venous Ulcers

By Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

A recent oral presentation gives high marks to a living cell-based treatment for the treatment of venous leg ulcers.

   Organogenesis presented the study on its Apligraf product at the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care Spring/Wound Healing Society (SAWC Spring/WHS) meeting. The retrospective analysis focused on 1,489 patients with venous leg ulcers treated over a three-year period. Study authors note that 1,187 patients with 1,451 ulcers received Apligraf while 302 patients with 350 ulcers received a non-interactive collagen wound dressing.

   At 36 weeks, Apligraf healed 61 percent of wounds in comparison to 46 percent of wounds that had the dressing, according to the study. The study also notes that Apligraf healed wounds 44 percent faster and over a three-year period, wounds treated with Apligraf demonstrated an increased probability of healing of 29 percent.

   Paul Kim, DPM, MS, uses Apligraf regularly and has used it specifically for venous ulcers. He emphasizes that the keys to the success of any biologic product are proper wound bed preparation and addressing the underlying cause of the wound. Dr. Kim has seen a positive response when using Apligraf to treat diabetic and venous ulcers.
Dr. Kim questions the study’s comparison of Apligraf to a dressing.

   “Dressings do not heal wounds,” says Dr. Kim, an Associate Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. “They facilitate the removal of detritus and exudate, and form a barrier to the external environment. Therefore, you cannot compare the function of Apligraf to that of wound dressings.”

   Still, Dr. Kim calls the study results “very interesting,” saying retrospective studies such as this “are more clinically relevant (than randomized controlled trials) because they are inclusive of the kinds of patients and wounds we actually treat.”

In Brief

Shire Regenerative Medicine recently announced at the SAWC Spring/WHS that it is providing the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) with an unrestricted grant for fellowships that will advance the science of wound care.

   The $100,000 grant will be split to sponsor two individual fellowships for the 2014-2015 academic year, according to Shire Regenerative Medicine. The AAWC will administer the fellow selection process and the company notes each fellowship will be open to DPM, MD and DO candidates throughout the United States. Shire Regenerative Medicine adds that the grant will support a post-residency or fellowship program that focuses on multidisciplinary wound healing and tissue preservation. The AAWC will accept applications for the fellowship grants through 2013 and the selections of fellows and their programs will occur by March 2014.

A recent study found elevated protease activity in nearly half of the wounds (43 percent) that had skin graft failure.

   According to Systagenix, the findings from the 30-patient study, which was presented at the European Wound Management Association conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, revealed that three out of four split thickness skin grafts failed in wounds that tested positive for elevated protease activity immediately prior to clinicians performing the graft procedure.

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