Announcing the 2018 Danby Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation Research Grant Winners
This year, the HS Foundation is pleased to announce that it funded two grants for the 2018 funding cycle.
Grant #1: A Single Center Study to Evaluate the Effect of Sclerotherapy on Fistulas and Sinus Tracts in Adult Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa Using Ultrasound Assessment
Amount of Award: $10,000
Investigators: Martina Porter, MD is a dermatologist and currently a Research Fellow and Staff Dermatologist at Beth Israel in Boston. Alexa Kimball, MD, MPH, her mentor, is a world recognized expert in HS. Dr. Porter and Dr. Kimball have developed protocols using ultrasound for HS.
Layman’s statement: Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a chronic disease that greatly affects the lives of those afflicted with the disease. Patients often complain of drainage from their skin lesions. Current treatment for these draining skin lesions is primarily medication, such as washes, oral antibiotics, or adalimumab, that may help to alleviate some of the symptoms. However, not all patients with HS improve with these treatments, and surgery is a commonly employed alterative treatment for HS. Newer therapies are needed. This study explores the use of an injection of hypertonic saline, which is water with a high salt concentration, into the draining skin lesions of HS patients. Hypertonic saline is currently used as a safe and successful off-label treatment for varicose veins, causing the veins to collapse and close. We believe that injection of hypertonic saline may also cause collapse and closure of the draining lesions, called fistulas, in HS patients and improve their quality of life. We plan to evaluate the response to hypertonic saline in HS patients with fistulas through patient, physician, and ultrasound assessment before and after administration of hypertonic saline.
Grant #2: Establishment of a Fresh Tissue Bank for Hidradenitis Suppurativa to Elucidate Immunopathological Mechanisms
Amount of Award: $5,000
Investigators: Angel S. Byrd, MD, Ph D is the Ethnic Skin Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology. Her mentor Ginette Okoye, MD is a dermatologist and HS is her primary area of clinical and research interest.
Layman’s Statement: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), also known as acne inversa, is a horrible skin disorder of the axillae, groin, buttocks, genital area, and other places where two areas of skin touch or rub together. The disease manifests as abscesses and boils resulting in tissue scarring as it progresses. Although HS is becoming more common, with an estimated 0.053-4% of the population suffering from this disease, the etiology is unknown. Studies have shown genetic, obesity, and smoking correlations, as well as an increase in African American females. Establishment of an HS Biobank, including collecting biospecimens such as tissue, blood, serum, and primary cells provides the resources to study biological mechanisms to aid in understanding the causes of this debilitating disease. In the work presented here, we have shown how collected biospecimens can be used by showing a potential role of a specific immune cell and its influences on other cells, which might explain how HS progresses from acute nodules to chronic tracts and scars. Therapeutic modalities that inhibit these particular cells could improve HS lesions, especially if given in the early stages, leading to a decrease in its morbidity and high economic burden.