Image via WikipediaStem cell researchers have found a way to turn a person's skin into blood, a process that could be used to treat cancer and other ailments, according to a Canadian study published Sunday.
The method uses cells from a patch of a person's skin and transforms it into blood that is a genetic match, without using human , said the study in the journal Nature.
By avoiding the controversial and more complicated processes involved with using human embryonic stem cells to create blood, this approach simplifies the process, researchers said.
"What we believe we can do in the future is generate blood in a much more efficient manner," said study author Mick Bhatia of the McMaster's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.
With the ability to create blood for transfusion from a person's own skin, the advance means someday patients needing blood for surgery or to treat anemia could bypass the blood bank and derive the necessary supply from themselves.
The breakthrough could also see future uses such as allowing patients undergoing chemotherapy to endure a longer regime of treatment without the breaks currently needed to rejuvenate the body.