Published online May 26, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i15.3741
Peer-review started: January 8, 2021
First decision: February 12, 2021
Revised: February 24, 2021
Accepted: March 25, 2021
Article in press: March 25, 2021
Published online: May 26, 2021
Alopecia areata (AA) is a common autoimmune disease characterized by hair loss. AA appears in extensive forms, such as progressive and diffusing hair loss (diffuse AA), a total loss of scalp hair (alopecia totalis), and complete loss of hair over the entire body (alopecia universalis). Recently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified as a therapeutic alternative for autoimmune diseases. For this reason, preclinical and case studies of AA and related diseases using MSCs have been conducted.
Case 1: A 55-year-old woman suffered from AA in two areas of the scalp. She was given 15 rounds of minimally manipulated umbilical cord-MSCs (MM-UC-MSCs) over 6 mo. The AA gradually improved 3 mo after the first round. The patient was cured, and AA did not recur. Case 2: A 30-year-old woman, with history of local steroid hormone injections, suffered from AA in one area on the scalp. She was given two rounds of MM-UC-MSCs over 1 mo. The AA immediately improved after the first round. The patient was cured, and AA did not recur. Case 3: A 20-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with alopecia universalis at the age of 12, was given 14 rounds of MM-UC-MSCs over 12 mo. Her hair began to grow about 3 mo after the first round. The patient was cured, and alopecia universalis did not recur.
MM-UC-MSC transplantation potentially treats patients who suffer from AA and related diseases.
Core Tip: Previous studies demonstrated that transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was effective in treating autoimmune diseases. Alopecia areata (AA) and its related diseases are a representative autoimmune disease. In this case study, we used allogenic, minimally manipulated umbilical cord MSCs for the successful treatment of AA and alopecia universalis. This is the first report of using minimally manipulated umbilical cord MSCs to treat AA and related diseases.