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Ankara – Turkish hair transplant surgery clinic Vatanmed has announced plans to use hair transplants from donated stem cells to treat a growing infection of the skin.
The clinic, which is located in the northern town of Akkuyu, said it will use stem cell therapy to treat patients suffering from the skin-wasting infection known as keratoconus.
The Turkish government is considering using stem cell transplantation for a similar treatment to treat the infection in its military.
The use of stem cells is also gaining traction in other countries, including the US, where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a stem cell treatment for the disease last year.
The treatment, called the BioMed Research Informatics (BMR) gene therapy, was developed by the US company Theravance BioTech Inc and is expected to become available by the end of 2019.
The BioMed team said the treatment is designed to improve the immune system and reduce inflammation in people with keratosis pilaris, a rare, life-threatening form of the disorder.
In an interview with AFP news agency, Dr Huseyin Zaman, chief medical officer of Vatanmeydan University Hospital, said stem cells can help treat keratoses pilari by restoring the body’s ability to repair damaged skin cells.
“The stem cells have different properties and function that we need to work on and they can be used for a different use,” Zaman said.
“It is a different treatment than traditional surgery, but we can use them in a very similar way.”
We hope that stem cells will be available in the future for stem cell transplants and treatment of keratides pilarus,” he added.
The new treatment will be tested in people at the clinic in the coming weeks.”
When it’s applied, the patient will be able to recover and feel better,” Ziman said.
He said the stem cell treatments could be offered to those who have lost their hair due to the infection.
Zaman said stem cell therapies are currently available for the treatment of hair loss, but have been less effective for keratotic hair loss.”
In general, the treatment has not been effective in terms of the reduction of keratin and the formation of new hair,” he said.
Dr Zaman added stem cells could also be used to treat other skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, which are caused by a mutation in a gene.