Health Discoveries in General Health News

Skin disorder helped by bone marrow transplantation

September 17, 2010
Bone marrow transplantation may offer a successful treatment for epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a debilitating and often fatal skin disorder, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota say the stem cells in bone marrow may be able to repair the skin damaged by the disease. Transplants performed on six pediatric patients from 2007 to 2009 showed significant improvement in five cases.

After the transplants, the children's skin showed less blistering, better wound healing and had started to remake missing collagen protein.

"A rare subpopulation of stem cells in the marrow had the potential for homing to the skin and repairing this disease," said Dr. John Wagner of the University of Minnesota, who was among the doctors who performed the operations. "Not only are we seeing improvement in the healing of their skin, but their quality of life has changed."

The findings were published recently in an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The bone marrow transplant unit at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, is accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. As part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, it is the only accredited adult transplant unit on Long Island.
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