A group of scientists at Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado and the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology have found a more efficient approach to reprogramming diseased skin cells into stem cells, boosting hope for future clinical trials and possible treatments for, so far, incurable diseases.

In this experiment, the results of which were published on February 21 in the journal Nature Communications, scientists focused on skin diseases and reprogrammed “healthy” or “adult” cells into pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), bringing hope in the treatment of serious diseases and providing the basis for the beginning of future clinical trials.

According to Ganna Bilousova, of the Charles C. Gates Center, and one of the investigators, the tests have made it possible to address the ineffectiveness, to date, of creating stem cells from adult cells.

Currently, out of every 1,000 adult cells, only one or two become iPSC. The group of Colorado scientists found an approach that dramatically accelerates this process as it improves the safety of this technology for clinical applications, “Ganna said.

 

The new method allows them to generate the iPSCs out of the body, manipulate them genetically, convert them into cells of various types and transplant them to the patient, or use them for future medical research.

 

The next goal is to move the technology from the laboratory to clinical trials. Dennis Roop, director of the Charles C. Gates Center, and another of the research leaders, acknowledges the magnitude of the team’s work and believes the advance has potential to help develop adult stem cell therapies “to cure diseases so far without cure, such as epidermolysis bullosa “(EB), which makes the skin more fragile.