Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene therapy for human skin disease produces long-term benefits

Date:
December 26, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Researchers evaluated a patient with a genetic skin disorder known as epidermolysis bullosa nearly seven years after he had undergone a gene therapy procedure as part of a clinical trial. The study revealed that a small number of skin stem cells transplanted into the patient's legs were sufficient to restore normal skin function, without causing any adverse side effects.

Stem cell-based gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of devastating genetic skin diseases, but the long-term clinical outcomes of this approach have been unclear. In a study online December 26th in the ISSCR's journal Stem Cell Reports, published by Cell Press, researchers evaluated a patient with a genetic skin disorder known as epidermolysis bullosa (EB) nearly seven years after he had undergone a gene therapy procedure as part of a clinical trial. The study revealed that a small number of skin stem cells transplanted into the patient's legs were sufficient to restore normal skin function, without causing any adverse side effects.

"These findings pave the way for the future safe use of epidermal stem cells for combined cell and gene therapy of epidermolysis bullosa and other genetic skin diseases," says senior study author Michele De Luca of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

EB is a painful condition that causes the skin to be very fragile and to blister easily, and it can also cause life-threatening infections. Because there is no cure for the disease, current treatment strategies focus on relieving symptoms. To evaluate stem cell-based gene therapy as a potential treatment, De Luca and his colleagues previously launched a phase I/II clinical trial at the University of Modena and recruited an EB patient named Claudio. The researchers took skin stem cells from Claudio's palm, corrected the genetic defect in these cells, and then transplanted them into Claudio's upper legs.

In the new study, De Luca and his team found that this treatment resulted in long-term restoration of normal skin function. Nearly seven years later, Claudio's upper legs looked normal and did not show signs of blisters, and there was no evidence of tumor development. Remarkably, a small number of transplanted stem cells was sufficient for long-lasting skin regeneration.

Even though Claudio's skin had undergone about 80 cycles of renewal during this time period, the transplanted stem cells still retained molecular features of palm skin cells and did not adopt features of leg skin cells. "This finding suggests that adult stem cells primarily regenerate the tissue in which they normally reside, with little plasticity to regenerate other tissues," De Luca says. "This calls into question the supposed plasticity of adult stem cells and highlights the need to carefully chose the right type of stem cell for therapeutic tissue regeneration."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. De Rosa et al. Long-Term Stability and Safety of Transgeni Cultured Epidermal Stem Cells in Gene Therapy of Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa. Stem Cell Reports, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Gene therapy for human skin disease produces long-term benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131226143110.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, December 26). Gene therapy for human skin disease produces long-term benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131226143110.htm
Cell Press. "Gene therapy for human skin disease produces long-term benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131226143110.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins