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Stem cells from umbilical cord blood may help treat AD

Data suggest that the infusion of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs) might be an effective therapy for patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD), researchers reported online in Stem Cells (June 3, 2016).

In order to establish the safety and efficacy of hUCB-MSCs in AD, 34 adult patients with moderate-to-severe AD were enrolled in two trials with a follow-up of one month and three months, respectively.

The researchers reported that the study participants were randomly allocated to receive a low dose (2.5 x 107) or high dose (5.0 x 107) of hUCB-MSCs subcutaneously.

Findings revealed that a single treatment of hUCB-MSCs resulted in dose-dependent improvements in manifestations of AD, the authors wrote.

Additional data indicated that 55% of patients in the high dose hUCB-MSC-treated group showed a 50% reduction in the Eczema Area and Severity Index score. The investigator’s global assessment score and the Severity Scoring for Atopic Dermatitis score decreased by 33% and 50%, respectively, in the group treated with the high dose.

The investigators also reported that the administration of high dose hUCB-MSCs reduced the pruritus score by 58%. Serum IgE levels and number of blood eosinophils were down-regulated by the treatment.

“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,” said Dr. Tae-Yoon Kim, senior author of the study, who was quoted in a press release.

“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,” added Dr. Kim, a professor in the department of dermatology at The Catholic University of Korea in South Korea.

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