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AAD: Novel Therapy Effective for Scleroderma Skin Ulcers

Combined treatment with stem cells, bioengineered skin successfully heals ulcers in three patients

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A combination therapy involving stem cells and bioengineered skin shows promise in the treatment of hard-to-heal skin ulcers in scleroderma patients, according to preliminary research presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology held Mar. 6 to 10 in San Francisco.

Vincent Falanga, M.D., of Boston University and the Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, R.I., and colleagues used a fibrin spray system to deliver cultured stem cells to skin ulcers in three scleroderma patients.

They also treated the ulcers with bioengineered skin containing living human keratinocytes and fibroblasts derived from preserved tissue obtained from neonatal circumcisions.

"Our combined approach resulted in dramatic healing of these extremely difficult-to-heal wounds, with new skin growth that blended in nicely with the surrounding skin," Falanga said in a statement. "On follow-up examination, one patient who had painful and incurable finger ulcers for many years remained healed and free of pain from this procedure. Importantly, the concept of 'instructing' stem cells with other interventions or biological agents is significant and could be applicable to other situations where the use of stem cells is being pursued."

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