A woman in her 80’s has become the first person to be successfully treated with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. A slither of laboratory-made retinal cells has protected her eyesight, fighting her age-related macular degeneration – a common form of progressive blindness.
[The results] show that the treatment hasn’t made the woman’s vision any sharper, but it does seem to have prevented further deterioration – with her vision now stable for more than two years. Since the graft, the woman says her vision is “brighter”.
[However,] many private centers around the world have been advertising unregulated treatments purporting to use stem cells for some time…[Recently,] three case reports of women given such treatments for age-related macular degeneration detail how one woman went blind and the vision of the other two became much worse.
“Patients and physicians in the US should be made aware that not all ‘stem cell’ clinics are safe,” says Thomas Albini at the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Florida, who subsequently treated two of the women.
[The study can be found here.]
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