Use of stem cells for modeling birth defects among infantsStrawberry-like birthmarks that commonly develop in early infancy, Hemangiomas, are considered harmless but researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston recently discovered that up to ten percent of Hemangiomas cause tissue distortion or destruction and sometimes vision obstruction.

In the March 18 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers showed that steroids target hemangioma stem cells specifically, revealed the action mechanism, and suggested other available ways for halting and shrinking hemangiomas.

Children’s plastic surgeon John Mulliken, MD, co-director of Children’s Vascular Anomalies Center and a co-author on the study, said that his dream was always to give a drug for stopping hemangioma at its first appearance.