London: The skin rejuvenation technique, Isolagen, in which a patient’s own cells are grown in a lab and reinjected into wrinkles, is undergoing patient trials to treat stretch marks and gum disease.
Twenty patients at University College, London, will be treated and then monitored over three to six months. Results are expected to be announced next year.
Researchers will also be using the same procedure to try to reverse gum disease. Forty people with gum disease will be given the same injection of cells to see if they can regenerate gum tissue, and even bone, following earlier promising trials in America.
The trial will look at patients with gum recession, which affects most adults over 40. The second part of the trial will be conducted on patients with true periodontal disease, where patients have significant gum and bone loss.
Results from the gum disease trial are expected later this year, with the dental treatment itself expected to be available shortly afterwards.
In the Isolagen treatment, a 3mm piece of the patient’s own skin is taken from behind the patient’s ear. The fibroblast cells, which control the productionof collagen and elastin in skin, are extracted and stimulated in a laboratory. After six weeks the new fibroblasts are injected into the skin.
The treatment is already being successfully used as a wrinkle treatment and scientists are now investigating other uses such as scarring and burns.