Autologous cultured fibroblast injection for facial contour deformities: a prospective, placebo-controlled, Phase III clinical trial

Dermatol Surg. 2007 Mar;33(3):263-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2007.33060.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Face
  • Facial Dermatoses / therapy
  • Fibroblasts / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intradermal
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin Aging
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Transplantation, Autologous