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Pilot Studies May Shed Light on How to Treat Lymphedema

Improvement in histopathology, skin thickness seen with ketoprofen in exploratory studies in humans


TUESDAY, Oct. 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with ketoprofen may improve the skin biology in lymphedema, with improvements noted in histopathology and skin thickness, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in JCI Insight.

Stanley G. Rockson, M.D., from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues conducted an exploratory open-label trial involving patients with primary or secondary lymphedema. Participants received ketoprofen for four months and were assessed for changes in histopathology. A placebo-controlled trial was subsequently conducted, with a change in skin thickness measured as the primary outcome.

The researchers found that for the 21 lymphedema patients enrolled in the open-label trial, histopathology and skin thickness significantly improved at four months versus baseline. Thirty-four patients were enrolled in the placebo-controlled trial, with 16 ketoprofen recipients. No serious adverse events were recorded. Reduced skin thickness was seen among ketoprofen recipients, as were improved composite measures of histopathology and decreased plasma granulocyte CSF expression.

"We have demonstrated that treatment with ketoprofen achieved primary outcome endpoints in both the open-label and placebo-controlled exploratory studies," the authors write. "The improvement in skin thickness and histology in lymphedema following ketoprofen treatment is a finding that paves the way for drug therapies that will have the capacity to ameliorate lymphatic repair."

One author disclosed ties to Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, which evaluates LTB4 antagonism as a treatment for lymphedema.

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