Hypertrophic Scars: What Are They?

By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – Not all scars are created equal. While always unsightly, a certain type—known as hypertrophic scars—can be especially bothersome, both physically and psychologically, for those who have them. But what are they, exactly? According to Medscape, hypertrophic scars are characterized by abnormally red, itchy, raised fibrous lesions that typically do not expand beyond the boundaries of the initial injury. Although they may partially resolve on their own, hypertrophic scars are common after burns and other wounds that involve the deep dermis, after surgery or injuries.

Hypertrophic scars are a variation of typical wound healing. When an imbalance occurs between two particular phases of the healing process, more collagen is produced than is degraded and the scar grows elevated above the skin. Excessive fibrous tissue can be classified as a hypertrophic scar. When located at most sites on the body, these scars are primarily of cosmetic concern; however, some hypertrophic scars can cause contractures, which may result in loss of function if overlying a joint or in significant disfigurement if located on the face.

“Hypertrophic scarring can compromise a patient’s quality of life,” says Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage RNAi company developing therapeutics based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) platform. “Therefore, patients are actively searching for more effective treatments.”

RXi’s ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial, RXI-109-1402, is being conducted to evaluate RXI-109, a sd-rxRNA compound targeting connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a key regulator of scar formation. This open-label, multi-center, prospective study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of RXI-109 to reduce scar formation in healthy volunteers post scar revision surgery.

In addition to being safe and well tolerated, early results to date have shown that use of RXI-109 demonstrated a visible, beneficial effect on suppression of hypertrophic scarring as compared with untreated control scars, at three months post-surgery. The company expects to share final study outcomes before the end of this year.

“Since there are no approved drugs for prophylactic reduction of scarring, we are hopeful for advances in new treatment options such as RXI-109,” Dr. Cauwenbergh adds.

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