Case Report
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. May 26, 2021; 9(15): 3741-3751
Published online May 26, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i15.3741
Alopecia treatment using minimally manipulated human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells: Three case reports and review of literature
Hyunjun Ahn, Sang Yeon Lee, Won Ju Jung, Kye-Ho Lee
Hyunjun Ahn, Sang Yeon Lee, Kye-Ho Lee, bio Beauty&Health Company (bBHC) - Stem Cell Treatment & Research Institute (STRI), Seoul 04420, South Korea
Hyunjun Ahn, Department of Functional Genomics, University of Science and Technology KRIBB School, Deajeon 34113, South Korea
Won Ju Jung, 97.7 Beauty&Health (B&H) Clinics, Seoul 04420, South Korea
Author contributions: Ahn H, Lee SY, Jung WJ, and Lee KH designed the reports; Ahn H and Jung WJ collected the patients’ clinical data; Ahn H, Lee SY, and Jung WJ analyzed the data; Ahn H wrote the manuscript; Lee KH provided professional advice and revised the manuscript; all authors issued final approval for the version to be submitted.
Informed consent statement: The patients involved in this study gave their written informed consent authorizing disclosure of protected health information.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
CARE Checklist (2016) statement: The authors have read the CARE Checklist (2016), and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the CARE Checklist (2016).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Kye-Ho Lee, PhD, bio Beauty&Health Company (bBHC) - Stem Cell Treatment & Research Institute (STRI), 72 UN village-gil Yongsan-gu, Seoul 04420, South Korea.
Received: January 8, 2021
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.

Keywords: Alopecia areata, Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells, Allogenic, Cell therapy, Minimal manipulation, Case report

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.