Skip to comments.Stem Cell Treatment for Eye Diseases Shows Promise
Posted on 01/25/2012 12:51:34 AM PST by neverdem
A treatment for eye diseases that is derived from human embryonic stem cells might have improved the vision of two patients, bolstering the beleaguered field, researchers reported Monday.
Dr. Steven Schwartz, a retina specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, conducted the trial with two patients.
Sue Freeman said her vision improved in a meaningful way after the treatment, which used embryonic stem cells. The report, published online in the medical journal The Lancet, is the first to describe the effect on patients of a therapy involving human embryonic stem cells.
The paper comes two months after the Geron Corporation cast a pall over the field by abruptly halting the worlds first clinical trial based on embryonic stem cells one aimed at treating spinal cord injury. Geron, which has not published results from the aborted trial, also said it would abandon the entire stem cell field.
The results reported Monday could help lift some of that pall. They come from the second clinical trial involving the stem cells, using a therapy developed by Advanced Cell Technology to treat macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.
Its a big step forward for regenerative medicine, said Dr. Steven D. Schwartz, a retina specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who treated the two patients.
Both patients, who...
One safety concern in using embryonic stem cells is that if any of the cells get into the body, they could form tumors. The researchers reported that this did not happen in the first four months after the surgery and that there were no obvious safety problems.
The two women were given low doses of drugs to suppress the bodys immune system and prevent them from rejecting the implanted cells, even though the eye is somewhat shielded from the immune system...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Science with irony...what a concept.
They'll continue pushing embryonic stem cells until we get epidemics of some exotic hitherto unheard of cancers or some such diseases they can get rich trying to cure.
My thoughts exactly. A two patient trial? Who gets published with a two person trial? So much data, so little time I guess. At least in LA they will have never- ending sources of embryonic stem cells. They are simply taking advantage of people who are desperate to restore their vision to push the real political agenda.
From the article in Lancet:
“. . . we are uncertain at this point whether any of the visual gains we have recorded were due to the transplanted cells, the use of immunosuppressive drugs, or a placebo effect.”