Stem Cells from Umbilical Blood Might Treat Eczema
For years now, stem cell research has been considered the cutting edge of science, promising to treat everything from Parkinson’s Disease to cancer. Now, scientists in South Korea believe they may have found yet another possible application for stem cells… An eczema treatment.
Stem cells are considered to be the building blocks of all our other cells. They can change into any type of cell that is necessary to repair the body. For years, the major issue with stem cell research was the relative lack of stem cells to experiment on. But discoveries in the last few years have found a variety of potential sources of stem cells, a major one being the blood in the umbilical cord after a baby is born. With the consent of the mother, this blood is collected and used for research into many different ailments.
Scientists and doctors at Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, along with the Seoul National University, gave a group of thirty-four people a subcutaneously dose of stem cells of various concentrations. The purpose of the study was to discover if the stem cells would help treat moderate to severe cases of eczema. Although further testing and studies are needed, the early results look to be quite promising. In fifty-five percent of the people who received a high dose of the stem cells, scientists and doctors found a 50% reduction in eczema severity. Dr. Tae-Yoon Kim, the senior author of the Stem Cells study, stated, “This study is a first-in-class study demonstrating that adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis responded to a treatment of stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood. The single treatment of stem cells in patients resulted in the significant and persistent improvement in disease symptoms throughout the follow-up period of 12 weeks.”
Could this mean that we’re on the verge of a new treatment for eczema? Further testing is required, as well as approval from a variety of regulatory agencies. But as the technology and research continues into stem cells, it looks like the possibilities of helping people with a variety of debilitating conditions might be endless! Only the future will know for sure!
Wiley. "Stem cells from umbilical cord blood may help treat eczema." <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160607080935.htm>. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2016. Web. 18 June 2016.
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