Antibody-based therapy to prevent build-up of scar tissue

 scar tissue article

Scientists have designed a new antibody-based therapy that could prevent fibrosis in people following surgery or injury.

The new therapy has been shown to stop scar tissue forming, but not impact healthy tissue. There is evidence that it is safe and effective in animal models.

Scar tissue

Fibrosis is the build-up of scar tissue following surgery or injury. A mass of connective tissue accumulates and can cause permanent damage to vital organs. In particular, damage to the lungs causing scarring can lead to fibrosis, which means it is difficult for oxygen to get into the blood. 

Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in the US have looked into the design of effective treatments for fibrosis, which have so far been lacking. 

Collagen molecules

The researchers have designed an antibody-based therapy. The antibody has been found to prevent collagen molecules from collecting together, which is what forms the fibres that cause fibrosis. When the antibody is injected into scar tissue, the formation of these fibres is reduced. This means scar tissue is prevented from forming, but normal healthy tissue is left untouched. 

The research was carried out on mice with diseased organs and the results were published in the journal Monoclonal Antibodies in Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy.

Impacts new scar tissue

Other studies have previously looked at how collagen production can be controlled, and therefore scar tissue prevented, but these have all tended to impact healthy tissue as well. This new therapy is novel in that it only impacts new scar tissue.

It does this by blocking ‘telopeptides’ – small regions on the collagen molecules that are part of the process that creates scar tissue. 

Clinical trial

Senior author Andrzej Fertala said: “By demonstrating the presence of native collagen fibrils, and, at the same time, the absence of our antibody within healthy organs, we have very compelling evidence that our antibody doesn't bind to collagen molecules already embedded within these organs.”

The therapy has only been tested on mice so far, and so the next step is to develop a therapy that can safely be used in humans, and to test it in a clinical trial.

This article was written by a third party source and does not reflect the views or opinions of Ramsay Health Care unless explicitly stated.

Additional comments on the page from individual Consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other Consultants or Ramsay Health Care.

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