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    2017’s big breakthroughs

     

    Hope for severe epidermolysis bullosa

    European researchers authored a study in Nature published November 2017 documenting how autologous transgenic keratinocyte cultures regenerated an entire fully functional epidermis on a seven-year-old with junctional epidermolysis bullosa.

    The study, the authors write, “…provides a blueprint that can be applied to other stem cell-mediated combined ex vivo cell and gene therapies.”

    One of the authors, Michele De Luca, a regenerative medicine specialist at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, previously performed two proof-of-principle transgenic cell therapies on epidermolysis bullosa patients, but only on small areas of replacement epidermis, according to a recent article in The Scientist.

    The treatment by Dr. De Luca in the Nature article was on about 80 percent of the boy’s epidermis.

    Dr. De Luca told The Scientist that the boy receives regular checkups to assess for any problems, but, as of early November, he was back at school, exercising and has started to play soccer.

    “This news is terribly exciting—the best news we’ve had for epidermolysis bullosa community in a long, long time,” says Harper Price, M.D., a pediatric dermatologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Ariz., who was not an author of the study.

    Stay tuned for more on this work and research like it going on in the U.S. in the February issue of Dermatology Times.

     

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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