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Stem cells from umbilical cord blood may help treat eczema

A new study suggests that treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord blood might be an effective therapy for patients with moderate-to-severe eczema, or atopic dermatitis.

For the clinical trial, 34 patients were randomly assigned to receive a low dose or high dose of the cells subcutaneously. Fifty five percent of patients who received the high dose showed a 50% reduction in what’s known as the Eczema Area and Severity Index score at week 12. Immune-related markers of atopic dermatitis also decreased significantly.

“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 Stem Cells study. “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.”

The study was conducted at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital in collaboration with Seoul National University (with co-senior author, Dr. Kyung-Sun Kang).

Article: Clinical Trial of Human Umbilical Cord Blood-derived Stem Cells for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis: Phase I/IIa Studies, Hyung-Sik Kim, Ji Hyun Lee, Kyoung-Hwan Roh, Hee Jin Jun, Kyung-Sun Kang and Tae-Yoon Kim, doi: 10.1002/stem.2401, published online 3 June 2016.