After one year, researchers saw a 29 percent improvement in bone-level measurements on x-rays in the teriparatide group, versus a 3 percent improvement in the placebo group, a 10-fold increase.
"I think one really interesting aspect of this study is that even a short dosing of this drug had benefits that lasted a year," said Laurie McCauley, U-M professor and chair of periodontics and oral medicine, and principal investigator on the study.
McCauley's research lab has spent nearly two decades studying how parathyroid hormone works. Animal models suggest that it works even better in certain bone wound-healing situations, such as those that involve surgery, than in osteoporosis, which is a diminishing of the bone rather than a wound.
"There was speculation that the bone that forms in a wound like a fracture or inflammatory disease condition might be more responsive to being built back than other bone," said McCauley, who noted that this proved true in the experimental group.
McCauley said the next step is for U-M researchers to test whether the treatment could be delivered locally to target site-specific bone healing. Forteo is not FDA approved for uses other than osteoporosis, but another possible application could be to help grow bone around dental implants.
|Contact: Laura Bailey|
University of Michigan