Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Adult Stem Cells Treat Skin Disease

Medical researchers at the University of Minnesota are pioneering a clinical treatment that involves transplanting adult stem cells:
University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital physicians reported performing the first bone marrow and cord blood transplant to treat recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, or RDEB.

Using a mouse model -- and in collaboration with investigators at Columbia University and the University of Minnesota -- researchers corrected the disease using bone marrow. They then determined which human adult stem cells would give rise to the development of type VII collagen -- the protein RDEB victims lack.

The boy received both umbilical cord blood and bone marrow from a perfectly matched sibling. Doctors anticipate being able to judge whether the treatment was successful by early next year.


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