Epidermolysis bullosa encompasses a group of inherited connective tissue disorders that range from mild to lethal. There is no cure, and current treatment is limited to palliative care that is largely ineffective in treating the systemic, life-threatening pathology associated with the most severe forms of the disease. Although allogeneic cell- and protein-based therapies have shown promise, both novel and combinatorial approaches will undoubtedly be required to totally alleviate the disorder. Progress in the development of next-generation therapies that synergize targeted gene-correction and induced pluripotent stem cell technologies offers exciting prospects for personalized, off-the-shelf treatment options that could avoid many of the limitations associated with current allogeneic cell-based therapies. Although no single therapeutic avenue has achieved complete success, each has substantially increased our collective understanding of the complex biology underlying the disease, both providing mechanistic insights and uncovering new hurdles that must be overcome.
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© 2015 The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.