Numerous alternatives for the treatment of vitiligo have been introduced over the past few years, including melanocyte transplantation.
The melanocyte transplant allows re-pigmentation in the area affected by vitiligo, in which the melanocytes can regrow.
One of the limitations of surgical therapies for the treatment of vitiligo is that of the use of invasive and traumatic techniques for the patient.
Several studies have been carried out on the possibility of using follicular melanocytes for the treatment of vitiligo.
Over the years, notable advances in biotechnology have made it possible to analyze the mechanisms of growth and the types of cutaneous melanocytes, especially the follicular ones.
These melanocytes have a high migratory and proliferative capacity that are generated by the differentiation of the cells present on the hair bulb.
The properties of these melanocytes combined with the simple availability and the absence of invasive techniques make hair hair a valid alternative for melanocyte transplantation.
Features melanocyte transplant
Several technologies have been developed for the cure and treatment of vitiligo.
These treatments include non-invasive treatments and surgical techniques.
Non-invasive treatments for the treatment of vitiligo are:
- PUVA treatment. Psoralens + Ultraviolet A
- NB-UVB treatment. Narrow band ultraviolet B
- Excimer laser treatments
- Topical Steroids
- Topical immunomodulators
However, due to the lack of results from these non-invasive treatments in some parts of the body such as hands and feet, several invasive techniques have been made available to achieve re-pigmentation.
One of these is melanocyte transplantation.
In this technique, the melanocytes obtained through biopsy of the donor’s skin are transplanted into the depigmented area
These re-pigmentation techniques have both advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage is that these methods, unlike tissue grafting, allow for the treatment of damaged skin collectors larger than the donor sites.
However, they take a long time to culture and also require a specialist, fully trained staff, and well-equipped tissue labs.
Furthermore, this treatment is very expensive.
However, clinical trials have reported that cultured melanocyte transplantation successfully re-pigments vitiligo-affected skin.
Melanocyte transplantation is a surgical technique to treat stable vitiligo in patients who do not respond to various therapies such as drug therapy, immunotherapy, phototherapy, photochemotherapy.
In many clinical trials, more than 50% success was observed, with the exception of poor results in the finger, knee and elbow areas.
However, it is still possible claims cultured melanocyte transplantation as the most viable method for treating Vitiligo.