What to Know About Stem Cell Therapy for Psoriasis

What to Know About Stem Cell Therapy for Psoriasis
What to Know About Stem Cell Therapy for Psoriasis

According to preliminary studies, stem cells may offer psoriasis sufferers a secure and efficient course of treatment. However, further research is required, thus the treatment is not yet approved.

Psoriasis is a persistent, chronic illness. Psoriasis, like other autoimmune disorders, has no known cure, however, new therapeutic approaches are being investigated by experts in hopes of making a difference.

One possible cure for psoriasis that researchers are looking into is stem cell therapy. This would entail the use of stem cells to assist in preventing immune system hyperactivity, which results in skin inflammation and other psoriasis symptoms.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved stem cell therapy as a treatment for psoriasis, research indicates that this may change in the future.

What are stem cells?

The base of all body parts, including your main organs, are cells called stem cells. Although plants and animals can also contain stem cells, human bone marrow is usually used in stem cell therapy.

Because stem cells aid in the creation of healthy tissues like skin and blood, medical specialists are interested in using them to treat disorders like psoriasis. Moreover, stem cells can self-renew.

How do stem cells help with psoriasis?

Transplanting stem cells could aid in the replacement of unhealthy stem cells with healthy ones.

Scientists are starting to understand how psoriasis might be treated with stem cells. An analysis published in 2022 on severe psoriasis that is not responsive to conventional therapies suggests that stem cells may be able to lessen inflammation and the quantity of cytokines that fuel psoriasis.

The authors list three potential forms of stem cell therapy:
  • Your immune response is under the direction of regulatory T cells.
  • blood cells are developed from hematopoietic stem cells.
  • bone and tissue cells are produced by mesenchymal stem cells.
Supporting the immune system with healthy stem cells may, in theory, help lessen the possibility of the overactivity that generates psoriasis symptoms. Advantages consist of:
  • delayed appearance of skin lesions
  • reduced severity of skin symptoms
  • faster recovery of skin lesions

What is the procedure for stem cell therapy for psoriasis?

Currently, bone marrow transplants are the primary method used by medical practitioners to administer stem cell therapy.

Initially, a medical practitioner performs a physical examination and blood tests to ascertain your suitability for stem cell therapy. After that, blood-containing stem cells from either your own (autologous stem cells) or a donor (allogenic stem cells) are processed by a filtering machine. After that, in a procedure akin to receiving a blood transfusion, you are given the filtered cells.

There is no need for anaesthesia during the transplant surgery, which can take many hours to complete. To find out if the transplant was successful, you might have to remain in the hospital for a few weeks.

An immunosuppressive medication may be prescribed by a medical practitioner if you have an allogenic stem cell transplant to prevent your body from rejecting the transplant.

Can stem cells cure psoriasis?

Although stem cell therapy seems to have a bright future, scientists do not believe that stem cells can treat psoriasis.

It's also critical to keep in mind that, despite its potential, stem cell therapy is not yet an approved treatment for psoriasis. Only a few illnesses, including blood diseases and associated malignancies, have received FDA approval for the use of stem cells.

Other noteworthy restrictions on stem cell treatment for psoriasis include:
  • Large numbers of stem cells are necessary for any ailment to be successfully treated with stem cells.
  • The donor stem cells may be rejected by your immune system.
  • After transplantation, stem cells might not live for a very long time.

What are the risks of stem cell therapy for psoriasis?

For long-term issues like psoriasis, stem cell therapy shows promise, but there are also considerable hazards.

Reduced blood and platelets are among the most frequent side effects of stem cell treatment for psoriasis.

These include:
  • easy bruising
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • bleeding
  • infections
If your immune system attacks healthy cells after rejecting donor cells, it could be another dangerous consequence. Graft versus host disease (GvHD) is the term for this.

The warning signs and symptoms of GvHD should be discussed with a healthcare provider because they can appear months after a stem cell donation.

Possibilities include:
  • Itchy rashes or dry skin that is not associated with psoriasis plaques
  • diarrhea
  • yellowing eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • joint pain
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • dry eyes

Medical insurance is not likely to pay for stem cell therapy because it is not an FDA-approved treatment for psoriasis. According to a 2017 study, depending on the method doctors employ, hematopoietic stem cell transplants could cost as much as $300,000 in the first 100 days.

What are other current and emerging treatments for psoriasis?

Researchers are looking into several alternative psoriasis treatments in addition to stem cell therapy. A review published in 2023 suggests that some of these further cutting-edge psoriasis therapies could be:
  • techniques like microneedles that help make topical medications for psoriasis more effective
  • Currently, clinicians administer combination medications, like biologics and methotrexate, individually.
  • extra biologic varieties that focus on certain immunological pathways
  • small molecule inhibitor drugs
Researchers are also examining particular biomarkers that could assist medical professionals in diagnosing psoriasis before the development of symptoms. As a result, the course of treatment can begin right away.

It is imperative to see a healthcare provider regarding the current choices for treating psoriasis symptoms.

The majority of psoriasis therapies currently available combine oral and topical drugs. These could aid in lowering immune system hyperactivity or inflammation, which raises the turnover of skin cells.

In more serious circumstances, medical practitioners could suggest injectables such as biologics. Additional psoriasis treatments may benefit from light therapy, often known as phototherapy.


By lowering inflammatory cells that lead to flare-ups and skin plaques, stem cells may be able to treat psoriasis.

Though there is still much to learn about the best treatment plans and stem cell types, some encouraging preliminary findings have been made. However, before these psoriasis therapies are approved, further research is required.

As clinical testing proceeds, think about discussing your options for treating your psoriasis with a medical practitioner and whether a clinical trial may be a good fit for you.

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