Diabetic foot ulcer, which, by 2030, is projected to occur in 25% of patients who suffer from diabetes, does not currently have an attractive treatment option. The therapies that are used today are expensive, require long-term stays in the hospital, and are often not associated with complete recovery. As such, cell-based therapies have been under investigation for their potential to help with the development of an effective therapeutic approach for diabetic foot ulcer. A recent case report describes the use of placenta-derived mesenchymal stem-cell hydrogel in a patient with diabetic foot ulcer and demonstrates the potential promise of this strategy.
The patient covered in this case report is a 57-year old female who has type 2 diabetes and had suffered from diabetic foot ulcer on her right foot for 20 days. Conventional therapies had made no impact on the foot ulcer. Following conventional approaches, the patient received stem-cell hydrogel topical wound treatment, where the clinicians filled the entire wound surface with gel and observed and cleaned the wound daily for 3 weeks.
The ulcer significantly improved with the use of the hydrogel treatment. Not only did the wound almost fully heel, but the patient’s foot function was also well preserved. The patient was able to walk normally. The treatment was not associated with any complications, and there was no recurrence of the ulcer during the 6-month follow-up period.
Based on their observations of the effect of the placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cell hydrogel on a patient’s diabetic foot ulcer, the authors of this case study concluded that the hydrogel may be an effective strategy for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcer. According to the authors, this was the first patient in the world to receive this hydrogel treatment for diabetic foot ulcer. Thus, the results set the stage for more research into how this hydrogel and other stem cell treatments may be used to help with diabetes complications such as diabetic foot ulcer.