From psychotherapy to physical therapy to immunotherapy, hundreds of treatment options are made feasible by modern medicine. Doctors sometimes find value in combining two or more treatment methods to better facilitate healing.
Here’s what to know about combination therapy and its application in wound care:
“Combining methods can help combat the body’s resistance to the treatment.”
Understanding combination therapy
Combination therapy is when doctors treat diseases, injuries or other medical conditions with two or more drugs or therapies. The idea is that if one alone does not work, combining methods can help combat the body’s resistance to the treatment.
Combination therapy is an especially common treatment method for complex diseases, such as cancer. When compared to singular approaches, combination therapy can increase the patient’s chances of entering long-term remission and reduce internal damage, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Researchers continue to test the success of combination therapy for several health conditions, including rare infections, spinal cord injuries, dyslipidemia, pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic wounds.
Applying combination therapy in wound care
A team of researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine recently developed a new combination therapy to promote wound healing. They combined a gene-suppressing drug with an over-the-counter gel designed to keep wounds moist and prevent bacteria from infecting dressings.
The researchers tested this drug combination by applying it on mice with skin excisions or burns. They found that the combination therapy cut healing time in half and greatly improved outcomes when compared to the control treatments. The positive results included regeneration of hair follicles and restoration of the wounded skin.
According to the study’s senior author, David J Sharp, Ph.D., professor of physiology and biophysics at Einstein, this novel combination therapy has strong potential for “broad application for all sorts of wounds, from playground cuts to battlefield injuries to chronic wounds.” However, Dr. Sharp’s team will first need to get permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test their wound-healing combination therapy in clinical trials.
While different therapies can accelerate the healing process, your wound treatment plan will likely still require regular dressing changes. Talk to your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue to get your wound care supplies delivered straight to your home. You’ll receive single-dose packets and video tutorials so you or your caregiver can easily manage dressing changes and promote proper healing.