Patients treated with a tissue repair drug were twice as likely to have a diabetic foot ulcer heal within 8 weeks compared to patients who took a placebo, according to results published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
According to the study abstract, researchers randomly assigned 216 patients with diabetes who had hard-to-heal ulcers to receive either placebo or the tissue repair drug polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN) 3 days a week for 8 weeks given by an intramuscular and perilseional route. Primary outcome measures included complete ulcer healing, and secondary outcome measures included days to complete wound closure and the re-epithelialization of wound surface.
The researchers found that 18.9% of the placebo group and 37.7% of patients in the PDRN group achieved complete wound healing after 2 months. PDRN increased the closure of foot ulcers in diabetic subjects after 8 weeks, according to the study. Researchers found placebo group had a longer median time to complete wound healing compared to PDRN-treated patients (49 days vs. 30 days). The median epithelialized area of ulcers was smaller in the placebo group compared with the PDRN group (49.3% vs. and 82.2%).
“Foot ulcers are a dangerous and expensive complication for people with diabetes, and current treatments such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy are costly and can have side effects. Our study showed for the first time that a pharmacological approach can improve wound healing in people with diabetes,” Francesco Squadrito, MD, of the University of Messina in Gazzi Messina, Italy, stated in press release from The Endocrine Society. “This approach could revolutionize the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers — a main cause of hospital admissions in the developed world. An estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes, and it is crucial to find effective treatment options for hard-to-heal ulcers and other complications facing millions of patients.”
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Disclosure: The researchers have no relevant financial disclosures.