Navigation Links
Small Stem Cell Study Claims Early Success in Treating Eye Disease
Date:1/23/2012

MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Using human embryonic stem cells to treat the eye disease macular degeneration appears to be safe and leads to some vision improvement, a small, early-stage study found.

The study included one elderly patient and one younger adult patient with different types of macular degeneration that had led to severe vision loss.

After four months, the embryonic stem cell transplants seemed safe and both patients had some improvement in vision, the U.S. researchers said.

The study, published online Jan. 23 in The Lancet, is the first report of the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in humans for any purpose, the researchers said in a news release from the journal.

One patient was a woman in her 70s with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. The other patient was a woman in her 50s with Stargardt's macular dystrophy, the most common type of macular degeneration in younger patients. Both were legally blind.

Both patients received transplants of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) derived from human embryonic stem cells into what's called the subretinal space (under the retina of the eye) in one eye. The patients received low-dose immunosuppression therapy, which was gradually reduced after six weeks.

Follow-up exams showed that the transplanted cells had attached to a part of the retina called Bruch's membrane and survived throughout the study period. Four months after transplant, there were no signs of so-called teratoma formation -- which occurs when stem cells turn into multiple cell types and form "incompatible" tissues that can include teeth and hair -- or related problems. And there were no signs of rejection or abnormal cell growth, the researchers said.

"Our study is designed to test the safety and tolerability of hESC-RPE in patients with advanced-stage Stargardt's macular dystrophy and dry age-related macular degeneration. So far, the cells seem to have transplanted into both patients without abnormal proliferation, teratoma formation, graft rejection, or other untoward pathological reactions or safety signals. Continued follow-up and further study is needed. The ultimate therapeutic goal will be to treat patients earlier in the disease processes, potentially increasing the likelihood of photoreceptor and central visual rescue," wrote Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology in Marlborough, Mass., and his colleagues.

"It has been over a decade since the discovery of human embryonic stem cells. This is the first report of hESC-derived cells ever transplanted into patients, and the safety and engraftment data to date looks very encouraging," Lanza added in the journal news release.

"Although several new drugs are available for the treatment of the wet type of AMD, no proven treatments currently exist for either dry AMD or Stargardt's disease. Despite the progressive nature of these conditions, the vision of both patients appears to have improved after transplantation of the cells, even at the lowest dosage. This is particularly important, since the ultimate goal of this therapy will be to treat patients earlier in the course of the disease where more significant results might potentially be expected," he added.

Scientists believe that embryonic stem cells have the ability to "differentiate" -- or grow -- into most types of cells in the human body. But the use of such cells is controversial because it involves the destruction of a human embryo.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Anthony Atala, a professor and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, in North Carolina, wrote: "The potential to use human embryonic-derived cells with a therapeutic effect in patients is now finally realized ... The ultimate therapeutic goal for patients with visual loss would be to treat them earlier in the disease processes, hopefully increasing the likelihood of visual rescue. Much remains to be seen -- literally."

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more about age-related macular degeneration.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Jan. 23, 2012, news release, The Lancet


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Genes Play Role in Prognosis With Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers
2. Certain genetic profiles associated with recurrence-free survival for non-small cell lung cancer
3. Small Increase in Diabetes Risk Noted in Statin Patients
4. Small to Mid-Sized Hospitals Turn to Orion Health to Implement Health IT Solutions for Improved Patient Care and Outcomes
5. Media, small businesses invited to ACS Webinar on ways to take advantage of Chinas dynamic growth
6. Small Time Company Rolls into the Big League: Trigger Point Performance Therapy Selected to Attend Athletes' Performance NFL Combine Preparation Program
7. Visual Cues that Improve Walking for People with Movement Disorders - Study Shows Small Change in Arrangement Can Make a Big Difference in Improvement Gained
8. Small Dogs Traced Back to Middle Eastern Wolf
9. Landrieu Comments on Presidents Small Business Health Care Report
10. Small molecule with high impact
11. A Small Grass-roots Non-profit, Announces That They Haven't Gone Away and are Still Alive with Helping the Disadvantaged Children in Ukraine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Diagnotes, an Indianapolis-based digital healthcare communication company, ... secure clinical communication platform. The platform allows clinicians to easily escalate their preferred ... urgency of a situation. , “We know from our daily lives that ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... , ... Orbita’s Nathan Treloar will discuss the role of voice-powered healthcare applications ... Connected Health and IoT: Technology Innovators and Disruption , the workshop is part of ... research and consulting firm specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. , ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... now receive treatment using the SPEED System™ Orthodontics, with or without a referral, ... orthodontist in El Segundo, CA, who is skilled in providing patients with ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Patients in need of ... Angela Cotey’s practice to schedule an appointment, with or without a referral. Dr. Cotey ... pulpotomy treatments to pediatric patients as a healthy alternative to a tooth extraction. , ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... Kisco, NY (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... are urged to receive relaxing sedation dentistry in Mt. Kisco, NY from Advanced Endodontics ... be administered for a variety of treatments. One or more sedation methods may be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/12/2017)... Canada joint tech company Laughing Face has developed ... and features a powerful disinfection process. The company has ... and sanitizes women,s panties or babies, cloth diapers in 25 minutes. ... Laughing ... external water inlet. ...
(Date:5/10/2017)...  The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, "We are ... clinics to call us anytime at 866-714-6466 if they ... in a substantial scheme to overbill Medicare. We ... employee of a medical equipment company if their ... medical practice groups with extra generous incentives to use, ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... May 9, 2017  Demonstrating its commitment to ... directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of ... Biopharmaceutical companies will now have to meet new ... be eligible to join PhRMA. "By ... is sending a clear message that being a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: