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Unsightly surgery scars could be a thing of the past thanks to a new treatment, research suggests.
Tests on avotermin by scientists from the University of Manchester found the drug affected the orientation, density and thickness of the collagen fibres that cause scarring.
Research published in the Lancet medical journal showed when the synthetic cell-signalling agent was injected under the skin at the site of the wound before and after an incision, it significantly improved the appearance of scars.
The anti-scarring effect has been linked to the transforming growth factor beta3 (TGFbeta3), a cytokine signalling molecule that sends messages between cells.
In trials of avotermin – an artificial form of TGFbeta3 – using a 100-point appearance scale, lower doses of the drug improved scarring appearance by up to eight points after 12 months.
A trial using higher doses showed improvements of as much as 64 points on the visual assessment scale.
Researcher Professor Mark Ferguson said: “We detected substantial differences in collagen organisation in some participants, with avotermin-treated scars more closely resembling the basket-weave pattern of normal skin.”
Copyright Press Association 2009