Navigation Links
New study finds way to stop excessive bone growth following trauma or surgery
Date:9/23/2009

(PHILADELPHIA) A recent United States Army study found that excessive bone growth, also known as heterotopic ossificiation (HO), affects up to 70 percent of soldiers who are severely wounded during combat. A much smaller percentage of the civilian population also suffers from HO following trauma or invasive surgery. The excessive bone forms within muscles and other tissues causing severe pain, reduced mobility and even local paralysis if untreated. A new study by Thomas Jefferson University researchers found a way to prevent HO in animal models by shutting the process off in its early stages. The study, reported in September's Journal of Orthopaedic Research, is expected to lead to clinical trials and may hopefully provide a new, effective and safe treatment for HO.

"This is a major breakthrough in HO research," said Primary Investigator Maurizio Pacifici, Ph.D, director of Orthopedic Research at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. "We are able to largely prevent formation and progression of HO lesions. We presented our initial results at a recent U.S. Army Extremity War Injuries Symposium in Washington D.C. and they were very well-received and have elicited great hope on the part of military physicians to finally have a way to stop HO in troops wounded in war zones."

In the ongoing study sponsored by the U.S. Army, Jefferson scientists were able to prevent HO by disrupting a series of cellular changes that are needed to produce HO. Following a trauma or invasive surgery, the condition begins when progenitor and stem cells are recruited to the injured site and give rise to cartilage tissue that then turns to bone. This multi-step process is regulated by several factors. One of these factors is a protein in the nucleus of the progenitor cells that is called the retinoid alpha receptor. This receptor must be turned off before the progenitor cells can form cartilage tissue. The Jefferson scientists, using a pharmacological agent, an alpha agonist, kept the receptors active, stifling the initiation of the disease in its tracks.

"The agonist we used in this case is an experimental drug that is not on the market yet, but is being tested in Phase II human trials for another disease. We tested whether the drug could work to prevent HO, thereby looking for another application for the drug," said Pacifici.

HO treatments for the general population exist now, but are not always effective and can produce side effects. Low-dose irradiation, postoperative nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or a combination of both are the current routine treatments for HO. When these treatments fail and patients require surgical removal of HO lesions, some complications can arise, including instigation of a new round of HO formation. These treatments are currently not used in wounded soldiers because they could have additional complications. For example, low-dose irradiation could reduce the healing capacity of tissues. Since the alpha agonist should not interfere with these processes, it could prove to be a suitable treatment without the significant side effects.

Because current HO treatments cannot be used, HO remains a potentially serious problem due to the high incidence among military personnel. Also without treatment, HO can progress and spread becoming much more serious over time. Hopefully, if clinical trials are done and prove successful this treatment could be used as a cure for not only HO but for other HO-related diseases including Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressive (FOP), an inheritable and severe form of HO.

"We aren't there yet but we are definitely excited," concluded Pacifici.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rick Cushman
richard.cushman@jefferson.edu
215-955-2240
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... Feb. 9, 2016 Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), ... results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015.  ... the fourth quarter of 2015 was $6.9 million, an increase of ... Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $2.6 million ... --> --> Higher revenue and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , February 8, 2016 ... platform which presents innovation for clients, comfort and ... called VoiceKey. --> Worldcore is ... innovation for clients, comfort and unbeatable security, with ... --> Worldcore is the first ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 The field ... one of the most popular hubs of the ... and other huge studies of human microbiota, have ... few years, the microbiome space has literally exploded ... research. This report focuses on biomedical aspects ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ ... to its beta program for a planned metagenomic genome ... present the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method in a ... in Genome Biology & Technology conference in ... of these highly complex datasets is difficult. Using its ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... stem cell treatment clinic in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide advanced ... to patients from around the world. , The new GSCG clinic is ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 ASAE is introducing a hybrid membership ... (AMC) the option of joining or renewing through an ... by staff size, every employee in any size association ... reap all available member benefits.   John ... membership options will allow organizations of any size and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Austin, Texas (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 ... ... research centers across three states, announced today the promotion of two long-standing principal ... and Chief of Family Medicine, Clinical Research and Development. , Dr. Laurence Chu, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: