Background: Previous data indicate that injections of autologous fibroblasts increase collagen formation, accompanied by a concomitant increase in thickness and density of dermal collagen.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine efficacy and side effects of autologous living fibroblast injections versus placebo in a randomized Phase III trial for the treatment of various facial contour defects.
Methods: This was a double-blind, randomized comparison of injectable living autologous fibroblast cells and placebo for the treatment of facial contour defects (N=215). Live fibroblasts (20 million/mL) or placebo (the transport medium without living cells) were given as three doses administered at 1- to 2-week intervals. Efficacy evaluations were performed 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months after the first injection.
Results: Living fibroblasts produced statistically significantly greater improvements in dermal deformities and acne scars than did placebo. The difference between live fibroblast injections and placebo achieved statistical significance at 6 months (p<.0001). At 9- and 12-month follow-up, live fibroblast-treated patients continued to demonstrate benefit from treatment with response rates of 75.0 and 81.6%, respectively. No serious treatment-related adverse events were reported.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that autologous fibroblast injections can safely and effectively produce improvements in rhytids, acne scars, and other dermal defects continuing for at least 12 months after injection.