The standard treatment for venous leg ulcers, lower limb compression, takes up to six months to heal and is unsuccessful in 30 -70 percent of cases. The new treatment involved injecting venous leg ulcers with a non-replicating adenovirus that expresses platelet-derived growth factor-β (PDGF-β). This prompted the wound healing process; endothelial precursor cells were attracted to the wound and new tissue formed.
“By temporarily increasing the production of (PDGF-β), wounds decreased in size in 93 percent of clinical trial participants within 28 days of the injection,” said David Margolis, MD, PhD, lead author and professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Using gene transfer technology, the growth factor penetrated the wound, reached the target cells and initiated the wound healing process.”
The phase I study, which followed 15 patients for 24 weeks, appeared in The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. No further studies are planned at this time.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $3.6 billion enterprise.
Penn’s School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools, and is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $367.2 million awarded in the 2008 fiscal year.
Penn Medicine’s patient care facilities include:
- The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – the nation’s first teaching hospital, recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
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- Pennsylvania Hospital – the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751, nationally recognized for excellence in orthopaedics, obstetrics & gynecology, and behavioral health.
Additional patient care facilities and services include Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse, a Philadelphia campus offering inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient care in many specialties; as well as a primary care provider network; a faculty practice plan; home care and hospice services; and several multispecialty outpatient facilities across the Philadelphia region.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2008, Penn Medicine provided $282 million to benefit our community.