CHICAGO, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The second annual meeting of the American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair (ACWHTR), held from July 26-28, 2012, featured a multidisciplinary faculty of opinion leaders who addressed scientific breakthroughs, clinical research developments, and policy and regulatory issues that will change the landscape of modern wound care.
"The ACWHTR annual meeting is distinct from all other meetings in wound care," commented Dr. William Ennis, Co-founder and President of ACWHTR, Professor of Clinical Surgery and Chief of the Section of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UIHHS). "We have created a unique forum for structured dialogue around the three main pillars of the future of wound care: basic research gaps, evidence based clinical practice and health policy considerations."
Conference co-chairs, Dr. William Ennis, Dr. Martin Borhani, Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at UIHHS, and Dr. William Li, President of the Angiogenesis Foundation developed an innovative meeting agenda that provided attendees with timely basic and clinical research insights, along with policy information updates relevant to wound care professionals. Session highlights included:
- Targeting Pathways for Regenerative Healing: This state-of-the-science session featured presentations on regenerative approaches to wound healing using stem cells; considerations surrounding angiogenesis and directing blood vessel growth on wound surfaces; and inflammatory biomarkers in wound failure;
- Systems Biology Approaches to Wound Healing: In a first of its kind at a wound care meeting, this session drew upon cutting edge techniques from cancer research now being applied to wound care, including computational modeling of biological pathways for personalized wound healing and consideration of various cellular and molecular determinants of tissue repair;
- Disease Management and Outcomes in Wound Healing: This clinically-oriented session focused on predictive markers for wound progression, clinical markers to measure therapeutic response in clinical trials and patient-centric outcome measures, and was preceded by a live surgical case broadcast from the UIC hospital;
- Clinical Research Updates: Presenters provided the latest clinical research updates with Phase II findings on two cell-based therapies for wound care: HP802-247, an investigational allogeneic living cell bioformulation containing keratinocytes and fibroblasts currently under development for the treatment of venous leg ulcers; and Ixmyelocel-T, a patient-specific, expanded multicellular therapy currently under development for critical limb ischemia. In addition, a large scale, retrospective study from the Veterans Health Administration evaluated 6,429 patients receiving treatment for diabetic foot ulcers with beclapermin gel (Regranex®) and found there was no increase in cancer mortality as compared to a matched control group of 6,429 subjects.
- Trends in Policy, Practice and Technology Development: This closing session featured updates on patient-centered outcomes, as well as the impact of the Affordable Care Act on wound care, including a look at comparative effectiveness research design recommendations and technology assessment.
These sessions served to illustrate wound healing as a complex biological process that requires a multidisciplinary, coordinated care plan. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of formal education for physicians, nurses, therapists and all ancillary health care providers on the science and treatment of non-healing wounds. Accordingly, there is a critical need for rigorous training, research, evidence-development and advocacy to improve outcomes of patients with non-healing wounds.
"'Conceptual blending' is a buzzword in the innovation and creativity literature," added Dr. Ennis. "Wound care is a perfect model to bring diverse interests together in such a manner and we plan to increase our emphasis on this approach at next year's meeting."
About Non-healing Wounds
The incidence of non-healing wounds is 5 to 7 million per year in the United States, resulting in an estimated $20 billion cost to the healthcare system. Non-healing wounds are associated with many undesirable consequences and complications that not only contribute to healthcare costs but also can be devastating for patients. The longer it takes for a wound to heal, the greater the likelihood of serious complications such as infection.
Healing problems can occur with any kind of wound, particularly in individuals who are gravely injured or have other health conditions. Certain wounds—diabetic, venous, arterial and pressure ulcers—are considered inherently difficult to heal and at risk of becoming chronic due to the underlying disease state or condition. The underlying conditions that most commonly lead to chronic wounds are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure in the veins and immobility.
With an estimated 366 million diabetic patients worldwide by 2030, we can expect an increasing number of patients with chronic non-healing wounds into the future. Similarly, with an aging society, it is also expected that there will be an increase in the number of surgical wounds, venous leg ulcerations, traumatic and immobility-associated wounds that will be at risk for non-healing.
About The American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair
The American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair (ACWHTR) is committed to advancing the field of wound care through education, research and advocacy. The College fosters the training of medical professionals including physicians, podiatrists, nurses and physical therapists in the field of wound care. The goal of this organization is to designate wound care as a board-certified medical specialty. ACWHTR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois.
Please visit the American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair website for more information: http://www.acwhtr.org/default.aspx.
SOURCE American College of Wound Healing and Tissue Repair