NAC has been in use for decades for treating immune and respiratory deficiencies. To our knowledge it is available in the U.S. as nutritional supplement. Recent research shows that NAC can also slow down or stop growth of Dupuytren tissue: Juergen Kopp et al. "N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine abrogates fibrogenic properties of fibroblasts isolated from Dupuytren's disease by blunting TGF-β signalling" J. Cell. Mol. Med. 10 (2006) pp. 157-165. Abstract and full article: NAC_link.
Above study is a laboratory study on Dupuytren cells, not a clinical study on patients. Yet this study indicates the possibility of NAC "providing a basis for a therapeutic strategy in Dupuytren's disease and other fibroproliferative disorders." Since publication of this study NAC has also been tested on patients. While the total number of patients is still too low for reliable statistics, first results seem promising, e.g. to avoid extension of Dupuytren to other areas after surgery or, in one case, a significant reduction of Ledderhose nodules.
Should this turn out a successful therapy it might eventually support other therapies. Long term effects need still to be researched and we would caution taking high dose antioxidants like NAC over a long period of time, like years (see e.g. JAMA_antioxidants ).
As no clinical data have been published yet (and probably won't be published because Juergen Kopp has moved on to another clinic and assignment) Dupuytren Society as an inital assessment collected data from patients who have taken or are taking NAC. For results see NAC data collection by Dupuytren Society.
For more details on NAC, including brand names, see wiki_NAC.
Page last modified: 05/14/2010