Can stem cells be used to cure vitiligo?

06 February 2005

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Question

Can stem cells be used to cure vitiligo?

Answer

Vitiligo is a de-pigmented patch on the skin. It occurs where the immune system has destroyed a patch of melanocytes which are the cells that produce the dark pigement melanin, which mops up UV light from the sun. Michael Jackson claims he has this disease. It's possible, though unlikely at the moment that stem cells could be used to repopulate skin that has lost its melanocytes.

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