University of Miami doctors are conducting stem cell clinical trials in order to change the way burn victims are treated, including military personnel inured in the line of duty. The trial, funded by the Department of Defense, could revolutionize burn care for those in need of reconstructive skin graft surgery, especially soldiers. Burn victims from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan account for 5 to 20 percent of combat injuries. Participants in the trial will come from The University of Miami / Jackson Memorial Burn Center, most with deep, second-degree burns. For the trial, burn wounds will be covered in a thin, protective dressing. Mesenchymal stem cells, adult cells harvested from the donors bone marrow, will be injected underneath the coating into the wound to regenerate the outer skin layers. Doctors conducting the trial are hopeful that, with this treatment, burn victims can eventually avoid surgery and reduce the scarring on deep wound burns.
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