Wis. Boy With Rare Disease Receives Stem Cells

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 4-year-old Wisconsin boy with a rare skin disease has received a stem cell transplant in Minnesota.

Charlie Knuth of Darboy received the transplant Thursday at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

Charlie was born without the gene that binds skin together. Doctors hope the transplant will strengthen the boy’s skin.

A stem cell transplant is an infusion of cells, not a surgery. The first infusion of cells took place in Charlie’s hospital room and took about 30 minutes.

Charlie has epidermolysis bullosa, which causes his skin to blister. The disease has no known cure.

The stem cells needed for the treatment are derived from bone marrow and cord blood.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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