Lichen Sclerosis is a skin condition that occurs in women, men and even children but is most frequently seen in post-menopausal women. The skin around the genitals and anus can turn shiny and smooth and spots grow into patches. Skin over the spots turns thin and crinkled and can tear easily and become scarred. Itching, changes in skin color, pain, bleeding and blisters can also occur. Causes of LS may be auto-immune or hormonal but overall the exact cause is poorly understood. Other areas of the body can be affected but those usually resolve without treatment. LS is not contagious. Diagnosis can be confirmed on skin biopsy. Without treatment, patches on the genitals can lead to scarring and pain or become cancerous. LS can cause scars that narrow the vagina interfering with sexual intercourse. Treatment has traditionally involved surgical excision (not always possible especially in women) and powerful topical steroids which can help mitigate itching and scarring. Optimization of estrogen levels is also helpful. More advanced treatment includes retinoids (vitamin A like compounds), UV light therapy, or Tacrolimus (immune suppressant).
LICHEN SCLEROSIS AND ADIPOSE DERIVED MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS
Adipose derived adult (non-embryonic) mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to seek out areas of injury and regeneration and assist in the repair of nerves, blood vessels, muscle, fat, cartilage, bone, and many other structures. These cells are naturally recruited by cytokines (SDF-1 stromal derived factor one, HGF hepatocyte growth factor, and platelets), to sites of inflammation, ischemia, hypoxia, or injury and they assist in the healing process either by directly forming needed cells or secreting chemical messengers that promote healing. Stem cells are mobilized naturally from bone marrow when the body is healing but they are also found in human adipose tissue. These stem cells from fat are abundant in levels thousands of times greater than those found in bone marrow, and have equivalent regeneration potential to the bone marrow cells .The success of stem cell treatments appears to relate to the number of cells, giving adipose cells a significant potential advantage to regenerate human tissues. Mesenchymal stem cells have been used extensively around the world in the successful treatment of orthopedic, cardiac, pulmonary, and neurologic disease in both humans and veterinary models.
The Ontario Stem Cell Treatment Center offers a regenerative medicine protocol for auto-immune conditions that harnesses the anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory and regenerative properties of adult stem cells to repair and regenerate tissue. Our protocol involves the patient’s own adult stem cells. Isolated from a small amount of fat, which is the richest source of stem cells and is obtained during a simple liposuction procedure, these cells are concentrated and infused back into the patient’s body via intravenous infusion.
Not all cases or patients respond to stem cell therapy and outcomes will vary from patient to patient. Each patient must be assessed individually to determine the potential for optimal results from this stem cell therapy.