Together, the results of the two studies offer Dr. Besner encouragement for a healthier future for her tiny patients. Newborns, especially those born prematurely, are at particular risk of an injury to the intestines known as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC. Dr. Besner's research suggests HB-EGF may hold significant clinical potential for these babies.
"The mortality of NEC is too high, despite widespread research on itif I operate on one of these babies, I have to tell the parents that their baby only has a 50 percent chance of living," Dr. Besner says. "Because of this, I am very motivated to find a cure. Mounting work from our laboratory shows that HB-EGF can protect the intestines from NEC. It is our hope that, in the future, we can administer HB-EGF to newborns most at risk of developing NEC in order to prevent them from developing this devastating disease."
Having studied the potential for therapeutic applications of HB-EGF for more than two decades, Dr. Besner is optimistic about the protein's potential. "We have some very exciting new lines of HB-EGF research going on in our laboratory at present, and we feel that the future for HB-EGF use in the treatment of human clinical disease remains bright."
|Contact: Gina Bericchia|
Nationwide Children's Hospital