Stem Cells Are Beating Boy's Deadly Disease

Doctors believe treatment may cure skin disorder
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2008 2:43 PM CDT
A clinical associate with Aastrom Biosciences in Ann Arbor, Michigan, opens a container of liquid nitrogen. Inside are specimens of bone-marrow and umbilical-cord cells.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A stem cell treatment has apparently cured a 2-year-old boy's rare genetic disease, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nate Liao suffered a disorder that made his skin so fragile, it had to be wrapped in bandages at all times. Now the fatal disease is retreating, and Nate is eating, dressing, and playing with other kids for the first time.

Nate's case is the first to see bone marrow and cord blood cells used to combat a disorder not involving blood, and his brother has also been treated. "Nate's quality of life is forever changed," said a Minnesota doctor who performed the treatment. "Maybe we can take one more disorder off the incurable list."