Skip to comments.Scientists Hope to Treat Blindness, Adult Stem Cell Research Already Has
Posted on 06/05/2007 4:48:32 PM PDT by wagglebee
London, England (LifeNews.com) -- British scientists hope to use embryonic stem cells to cure blind patients age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among elderly people. However, other doctors have already used adult stem cell research to treat blind patients and their conditions have vastly improved.
Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells within the eye play a vital role in the survival and maintenance of the rods and cones that detect light and color. Death of RPE cells may lead to the condition known as AMD.
The British researchers hope to develop the embryonic stem cells, which can only be obtained by destroying human life, to repair damaged retinas.
The London Project to Cure AMD will use a donation from an anonymous American upset with the lack of taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research in the United States. Scientists from University College London, Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and the University of Sheffield are spearheading the research.
Lead researcher Dr. Lyndon Da Cruz told the London Daily Mail newspaper, "Given AMD could affect up to one-third of the population by 2070, the potential to create a treatment strategy for this condition is critical and may have a major impact on vision loss in the community."
Professor Alistair Fielder of the non-profit group Fight for Sight claimed that clinical trials could begin using the embryonic stem cells in five years.
However, the use of adult stem cells has already helped the blind to see thanks to doctors who extract stem cells from patients own eyes, then culture healthy tissue to repair their corneas.
I feel like a human being again, Deborah Catlyn told the London Telegraph in April 2005. She regained her sight after losing it in 2002 when a woman at a nightclub threw acid in her face.
Catlyn is one of 20 Britons who this adult stem cell procedure has enriched. It was developed at Hyderabad, Indias Prasad Eye Institute, where some 200 blind people have been treated, most of them successfully.
Meanwhile, scientists at Scripps Research Institute used bone marrow stem cells to grow new blood vessels in the eyes of mice, a development researchers say could lead to treatments for some forms of blindness in humans, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
The injected adult stem cells homed in on the parts of the eye where they were needed, grew new blood vessels, and prevented blindness in the mice.
They published their findings in the medical journal Nature back in July 2002.
Last month, Scripps scientists received a $17 million grant for adult stem cell use to treat eye diseases.
"Our goal in the next five years is to develop this new approach to treating retinal diseases to the point it can be tested in the clinic," the initiative's principal investigator Martin Friedlander, a professor at Scripps Research and retina specialist at Scripps Clinic, said.
"This is an extraordinary opportunity to take highly novel laboratory concepts, test them experimentally, and translate them into therapies for the treatment of blinding eye disease."
Adult stem cells have always worked better. The fetal cells always become cancerous.
And everyone knows this, but the culture of death still wants to kill embryos.
What fails to be said, regarding embryonic stem cells; is that there is a huge amount of embryonic stem cells that are thrown away after a live birth. The umbilical cord and the placenta are full of embryonic stem cells - and these are simply disposed of.
If scientists want to study embryonic stem cells; there exists a source that poses no moral or ethical issues ... why not pursue that one?
Stem-cell research has been ongoing around the world for more than 20 years. As of 11/1/06 there has been at least 72 treatments developed using Adult Stem Cells with many more in the works and great promise for the future. Conversely, as of 11/1/06 there has been ZERO treatments developed using Embryonic Stem Cells.
Moreover, according to http://www.stemcellresearch.org, Embryonic stem cells pose an unusual risk for genetic changes and tumor formation, with the risk increasing the longer the cells are grown, thus making their therapeutic use even more speculative and problematic.
Please FreepMail me if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.
As far as I know, umbilical and placental stem cells are considered “adult” stem cells.
It’s NOT already treatable. Both my parents have it (one has the dry form only and the other has dry in one eye and wet in the other). As of this summer, both will be unable to drive as their licenses are up for renewal (and my mother has already stopped driving as she feels she can’t do so safely). My mother has been involved in some clinical trials and has had the most advanced procedures available for the wet macular degeneration, and it just keeps getting worse at a pretty rapid clip. There is no treatment whatsoever for dry macular degeneration — just some evidence that preventive measures like not smoking, eating lots of leafy vegetables etc. may delay onset and somewhat slow progression. This article doesn’t even claim it’s treatable with adult stem cell-derived techniques — just mentions a hopeful paper published 5 years ago and more hoping that in another 5 years there might actually be a treatment.
Embryonic stem cells have also been found to cause cancer. Just takes them a few more rounds of dividing.
Bull. The only way you can come up with stats like that is to read this article in which both adult stem cell researchers and embryonic stem cell researchers say they hope to develop a treatment that could be used in humans within 5 years, and conclude that there already is a treatment from the embryonic stem cell research, but not from the adult stem cell research. In reality, the two go hand in hand, and both types of research will very likely be necessary before a treatment can be developed that doesn’t require the patient to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his/her life.
He told her...come back in 6 months and we might have some good news.
Mom thought he was being overly optimistic.
I’m glad to read about the current successes.
By Ben A. Shaberman 05/30/2007
The umbilical cord is not only the lifeline for a developing baby, but it might also save sight for people affected by a variety of retinal degenerative diseases.
Because the umbilical cord is normally discarded after birth, use of the tissue derived from it doesn’t raise ethical concerns.
FFB-funded investigator Ray Lund, Ph.D., Oregon Health and Science University, in collaboration with Centocor, a biomedicine company, used human umbilical cord tissue (hUTC) to rescue vision in a rodent model of retinal degenerative disease.
In a paper published in the March 1, 2007 issue of Stem Cells, the investigative team reported that “hUTC may provide utility in treating patients with retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa.
The research team also evaluated mesenchymal (bone marrow) and placental cells for retinal rescue. Mesenchymal cells were somewhat effective, but Lund says they are more difficult to expand and produce than hUTC. Placental cells had little effect.
This study is one of many recent cell-based investigations — including the FFB-funded work done by David Gamm, M.D., Ph.D., covered in this issue of InSight — that is enabling experts toidentify optimal treatments for a broad spectrum of retinal degenerative disease. Lund says, “It’s sensible to look at a galaxy of cells…to see ultimately what will be the best for the widest range of diseases.”
One reason that efficacy varies from one cell type to another is that each cell type delivers its own unique mix of factors. The hUTC in Lund’s study express interleukin-6 (IL-6), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The cells used in Gamm’s study expressed a differentcombinationof growth factors.
A number of FFB-funded investigators have made significant progress over the past year in developing cell-based treatments for both rescuing vision in moderate disease and replacing tissue lost to advanced disease,” says Stephen Rose, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer, Foundation Fighting Blindness.
The media almost never mentions the existence or viability of anything other than embryonic stem cells, even though the reality is that these have had zero successes and necessitate the slaughter of the unborn.
All the while, there have been incredible breakthroughs with adult (including umbilical and placental) stem cells. A huge advantage of umbilical and placental stem cells is that there is an continuous and unlimited supply of these and there is absolutely no risk to anyone in the extraction of them.
you are sure busy tonight....i am behind by about a week now, and it will take me a few days to catch up!! let me catch my breath, here! :;grin:: thanks for the pings!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.