Document Type : Review Article
Department of Regenerative Medicine, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
Vitiligo is an auto-immune disease, causing depigmentation of skin in 0.2-1.8% of global population. Topical
corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors are the only treatments with firm evidence of optimal effectiveness with
considerable side effects. Phototherapies might not induce serious side effects, although the effectiveness of the method
is limited. Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) are emerging treatment modalities based on correction and
replacement of affected genes, damaged tissues or cells in treatment of difficult-to-treat diseases. Due to optimal
effectiveness and minimal side effects, ATMPs have recently gained much attention in order to develop new treatments.
In this review, the ATMPs for treating vitiligo were along with its clinical success, affordability and cost-effectiveness.
Currently, the main ATMP based products using in treatment of vitiligo are non-cultured epidermal cell, melanocytes,
and hair follicle melanocytes. These products have shown promising results in the non-responding vitiligo patients.
Furthermore, mesenchymal stem cells and multi-lineage differentiating stress enduring cells are other new potential
modalities. Recently, Iranian Food and Drug Administration (IR-FDA) authorized the first cell-based product for vitiligo.
This product is autologous suspension of keratinocytes and melanocytes. Although ATMPs are efficient and could be
cost-effective in long term, the most important obstacle is affordability of them. This could be facilitated by insurance
companies and instalments payment programs from manufacturers.