Thanking Those Who Spread the Word

 

Thanksgiving is a time during which many of us attempt to slow down (except during meal preparation) to remind ourselves what we have to be thankful for, so we think this is a perfect time here at EB Resource to do some thanking of our own.

 

When we set up EB Resource nearly five years ago, one of our core goals was to help members of the EB community connect with one another as well as with resources available to them in the medical, nonprofit and medical supply fields. We would not be able to set out to achieve this goal every day if it weren’t for the following invaluable people.

 

  • Nonprofits devoted to supporting EB Awareness and support for families impacted by the disease – From DebRA and EBMRF to EB Research Partnership and I Refuse EB, and several other grass roots organizations and groups of various sizes, these groups and individuals have dedicated themselves to finding their own unique niche for drawing more attention to the cause and raising funds for the particular need they hope to address. Each may have its own distinct goals and strategies but there is one tie that binds them all and that is a collective commitment to take action and inspire others to join in a movement to support the EB community.
     
  • Medical and Educational Institutions which have committed resources to EB research – Physicians and scientists are more readily joining forces on both the care and research fronts to develop and test new and improved treatments and explore potentially groundbreaking trials in the hopes of finding a cure for the disease. With care and research teams committed at such innovative institutions as University of Minnesota, University of Cincinnati Children’s Center and Stanford University, among others, many of us in the EB community remain hopeful that these brilliant minds will uncover new and promising developments.
     
  • Parents and Other EB Caregivers who share their story in the media, in their communities and online to educate others – We frequently share on EB Resource posts that spotlight EB families from across the world who have reached out to their local media to gain greater attention for their story and for the EB community as a whole. Each time a new link is cataloged on Google and other search engines, we offer another window for a glimpse at life with EB. Though we know that every story does not capture the same poignancy, accuracy or depth of the story, we are still encouraged that a growing number of media organizations are beginning to dig deep into the EB story, and we owe it to the many parents and caregivers who have shared their own family’s struggles through these articles, their own blogs or books to educate others about epidermolysis bullosa.
     
  • Supporters within and outside of the EB community who participated this year and in our past EB Tweetathons – We place much value on circles of influence and regardless of how you use your own social media accounts, so we thank those Twitter users who relay our annual messages during EB Awareness Week to their online friends and followers to help us educate and motivate others to get involved in raising EB awareness. We know it can take time, energy and diligence to retweet them all, but some of you do all that you can to make it happen and we so appreciate all who have taken part. Thank you!
     
  • Other Supporters, whether in manufacturing, the arts, business or other sectors – Messages continue to move out into the mainstream media from sources as diverse as Pearl Jam frontman, Eddie Vedder to tennis great, Mats Wilander to medical supply companies and large corporations, college groups, playwrights, photographers, actors and more who find unique ways to use their forum, audience or talents to shine a different light on EB and the people affected by it.

 

We are grateful to all of you for the many ways you’ve used your tools and voices to speak up for the EB community. And during this month of thankfulness, we hoist a mug of cinnamon-tinged apple cider or pumpkin-spiced latte around the dinner table of our EB community.

 

Thank you for all you do.

The Latest in EB Research

A number of clinical trials are presently recruiting or already in progress that may have a tremendous impact on the EB community. By accessing the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, we are able to offer a useful summary of these research trials that have been logged by the NIH.

Currently, there are 12 open, international, EB clinical research trials listed as active, with three of the studies not yet recruiting and three of the other international studies listed with unknown recruiting status. Of the remaining six EB research studies which are open and recruiting, four of them are being run within the United States and two are active in other internationally-based locations.

The following summary spotlights key background information related to the four open and recruiting U.S. studies. For the complete, up-to-date details about each of the EB studies open and recruiting here in the U.S. as well as internationally, please visit the NIH’s Clinical Trials page here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=epidermolysis+bullosa&recr=Open.

The following is not an endorsement but a brief summary of EB clinical trial background information available at this time and is strictly for informational purposes only. For more information, visit the links provided. You should also consult your health care professional and thoroughly understand the potential risks involved with a clinical trial before you participate in any clinical trial. We take no responsibility for any results or outcomes associated with the following clinical trials.

 

  • Gene Transfer for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Led by principal investigator and associate professor at Stanford University Jean Yuh Tang, this study launched in December 2010 and was last verified in February 2015. The study is a collaboration between the university and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. During the study, researchers create a graft of the participant’s skin that has been genetically engineered in a culture to attempt correcting the cellular protein deficiency that led to the RDEB. Investigators then transplant the “corrected” cells back onto the patient’s skin. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.

 

  • Stem Cell Transplant for Epidermolysis Bullosa. Last verified in April 2015, this study by the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota attempts to test a primary hypothesis that the infusion of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood from a healthy donor will correct a collagen, laminin, integrin or plakin deficiency and reduce the skin’s fragility caused by severe forms of EB. A secondary hypothesis also examines the impact of mesenchymal stem cells from a healthy donor on the safety and efficacy of an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.

 

  • Characteristics of Patients with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Jean Yuh Tang at Stanford University is also conducting a strictly observational study by screening subjects with DEB to evaluate the characteristics of these patients, who may develop severely painful blistering and open wounds. Last verified in February 2015, this trial involves the study of cells to support the development of future therapy strategies. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Study of Efficacy and Safety of SD-101 Cream in Patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa. Sponsored by Scioderm, Inc., the target of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of SD-101-6.0 cream versus a placebo in the treatment of EB. Launched in November 2009 and last verified in May 2015, this study is currently recruiting participants in various locations across the U.S. including the University of Colorado School of Medicine (Aurora, CO), Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO), University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Chapel Hill, NC), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH), and Texas Dermatology and Laser Specialists (San Antonio, TX), as well as in France, Italy, Austria, and the U.K. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.

EB Clinical Trial Updates

Throughout the year, we like to keep the EB community informed about current clinical research trials in place. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, there are presently 12 open EB clinical research trials listed as actively recruiting participants.

One study is not yet recruiting and the status of two studies is currently labeled unknown. Of those open, recruiting EB research studies, eight studies are taking place in the U.S. and four are being led outside of the U.S.

The following briefs highlight general aspects of the U.S. studies currently recruiting. For the latest detailed information about all EB studies open and recruiting here in the U.S. and abroad, please visit the NIH’s Clinical Trials page at the following link: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=epidermolysis+bullosa&recr=Open.

The following is not an endorsement but merely a brief summary of the EB clinical trials available at this time and is for informational purposes only. You should visit the relevant link below for more information. You should also consult your health care professional and thoroughly understand the potential risks involved with a clinical trial before you participate in any clinical trial. We take no responsibility for any results or outcomes associated with the following clinical trials.

  • Gene Transfer for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Dr. Alfred T. Lane of Stanford University’s School of Medicine leads this study first launched in December 2010. The trial is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. This study involves researchers creating a graft of the participant’s skin that has been genetically engineered in a culture, in an attempt to correct its cellular protein deficiency causing RDEB. Investigators then transplant the “corrected” cells back onto the patient’s skin. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Stem Cell Transplant for Epidermolysis Bullosa. This study by the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, is attempting to test its primary hypothesis that the infusion of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood from a healthy donor will correct certain deficiencies and reduce the skin fragility characteristic of several severe forms of EB. EB patients are being treated with a combination of a chemotherapy regimen, a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant and a mesenchymal stem cell transplant. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Characteristics of Patients with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. In addition to its gene transfer study for RDEB patients, Stanford University is conducting a screening of subjects with DEB to evaluate the characteristics of these patients, who often develop severely painful blistering and open wounds, and examine their cells as a means to support the development of future therapies. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • A Study of the Efficacy and Safety of ABH001 in the Treatment of Patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa Who Have Wounds That Are Not Healing. Launched in December 2012, this trial by Shire Regenerative Medicine will attempt to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ABH001 for treating EB patients with wounds that are not healing. The hypothesis being tested is that ABH001 may initiate and continue the wound healing process for these particular EB patients. Currently, a handful of sites in the U.S. are recruiting for this study including UCSD Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Northwestern University in Chicago and Virginia Clinical Research in Norfolk, Va. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Treatment of Chronic and Non-Chronic Wounds in Patients with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Using Helicoll Collagen Dressings Versus Standard Care. This trial is being led by Dr. Lane at Stanford University and launched last October. Its purpose is to test the effectiveness of a specific collagen wound dressing (Helicoll) against traditional wound dressing for treating chronic and no-chronic wounds of RDEB patients. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Characteristics of Adult Patients with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Stanford University is also conducting a screening of RDEB patients similar to its Dystrophic EB trial, in particular those adults who survive with the diagnosis into adulthood, to evaluate their characteristics. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Efficacy of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor in Patients with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. This feasibility study from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN launched in February 2012 and attempts to measure the effectiveness of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor treatment for DEB patients in a seven day course of treatment. Follow-up with the patients will take place after seven days and 30 days following discontinuation of the drug. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Grafting of Epidermolysis Bullosa Wounds Using Cultured Revertant Autologous Keratinocytes. This is another study being led by Dr. Lane at Stanford that launched in fall 2011. Revertant Mosaicism means that a patient has two different genetically different cell populations due to spontaneous mutations, and for this study, the research team is attempting to use such circumstances to treat a patient with his or her own normal, non-fragile skin patches. That is, the team will try to culture cells from these areas the EB patients’ skin to create grafts for the wounded areas of the same patient. For more information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.

EB Clinical Trial Updates

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, there are currently 11 open EB clinical research trials still recruiting participants. Among those active EB research studies, six studies are taking place in the U.S. and five are being led outside of the U.S. The following briefs highlight aspects of the U.S. studies currently recruiting. For the latest detailed information about all 11 EB studies currently open and recruiting here in the U.S. as well as abroad, we encourage you to visit the NIH’s Clinical Trials page at the following link: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=epidermolysis+bullosa&recr=Open.

  • Gene Transfer for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Dr. Alfred T. Lane of Stanford University’s School of Medicine leads this study first launched in December 2010. The trial is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. This study involves researchers creating a graft of the participant’s skin that has been genetically engineered in a culture, in an attempt to correct its cellular protein deficiency causing RDEB. Investigators then transplant the “corrected” cells back onto the patient’s skin. For complete information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Stem Cell Transplant for Epidermolysis Bullosa. This study by the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, is attempting to test its primary hypothesis that the infusion of bone marrow or umbilical cord blood from a healthy donor will correct certain deficiencies and reduce the skin fragility characteristic of several severe forms of EB. EB patients are being treated with a combination of a chemotherapy regimen, a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant and a mesenchymal stem cell transplant. (This last transplant is to test a secondary hypothesis, that mesenchymal stem cells from a healthy donor will enhance the safety and effectiveness of the allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant and serve as a source of renewable cells for treating focal areas of residual blistering.) For complete information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Characteristics of Patients with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. In addition to its gene transfer study for RDEB patients, Stanford University is conducting a screening of subjects with DEB to evaluate the characteristics of these patients, who often develop severely painful blistering and open wounds, and examine their cells as a means to support the development of future therapies. For complete information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Characteristics of Adult Patients with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Stanford University is also conducting a similar screening of RDEB patients, in particular those adults who survive with the diagnosis into adulthood, to evaluate their characteristics. For complete information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Efficacy of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor in Patients with Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. This feasibility study from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, just launched in late February 2012 and will attempt to measure the effectiveness of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor treatment for DEB patients in a seven-day course of treatment. Follow-up with the patients will take place after seven days and 30 days following discontinuation of the drug. For complete information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.
     
  • Grafting of Epidermolysis Bullosa Wounds Using Cultured Revertant Autologous Keratinocytes. This is another study being led by Dr. Lane at Stanford that launched last fall. Revertant Mosaicism means that a patient has two different genetically different cell populations due to spontaneous mutations, and for this study, the research team is attempting to use such circumstances to treat a patient with his or her own normal, non-fragile skin patches. That is, the team will try to culture cells from these areas the EB patients’ skin to create grafts for the wounded areas of the same patient. For complete information about this study, click here to link to ClinicalTrials.gov.