Background: Skin scarring is associated with psychosocial distress and has a negative effect on quality of life. The transforming growth factor (TGF)-β family of cytokines plays a key role in scarring. TGF-β3 improves scar appearance in a range of mammalian species. This study was performed to assess the efficacy of intradermal avotermin (TGF-β3) for the improvement of scar appearance following scar revision surgery. Methods: Sixty patients (35 men and 25 women; age, 19 to 78 years; 53 Caucasians; scar length, 5 to 21 cm) received intradermal avotermin (200 ng/100 μl/linear cm wound margin) and placebo to outer wound segments immediately after, and again 24 hours after, complete (group 1) or staged (group 2) scar revision surgery. A within-patient design was chosen to control for interindividual factors that affect scarring. The primary efficacy variable was a total scar score derived from a visual analogue scale, scored by a lay panel from standardized photographs from months 1 through 7 following treatment. Results: Primary endpoint data from the combined surgical groups showed that avotermin significantly improved scar appearance compared with placebo (total scar score difference, 21.93 mm; p = 0.04). Profilometry showed a greater reduction in scar surface area from baseline with avotermin treatment compared with placebo, significant in group 2 at months 7 and 12 (difference, 41.99 mm and 25.85 mm, respectively; p = 0.03 for both comparisons). Histologic analysis from group 2 showed that, compared with placebo treatment, collagen organization in avotermin-treated scars more closely resembled normal skin in 14 of 19 cases. Avotermin was well tolerated. Conclusion: Avotermin administration following scar revision surgery is well tolerated and significantly improves scar appearance compared with placebo.
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