Breakthrough in Using Stem Cells to Treat Retinitis Pigmentosa
February 25, 2011
Ophthalmology Times: Seven blind patients (retinitis pigmentosa) were injected with stem cells in a study by Dr. Francis at the Oregon Health and Science University. The cells were tolerated and not rejected. One patient noticed a small increase in light sensitivity. This is a good first step. As you can see, stem cell therapy is a long way off from giving patients useful vision, but at least we are on the right track. By the way, these stem cells were injected via a surgical vitrectomy and injected under the retina. Stem cell centers which promise vision by injecting via the retrobulbar route are selling an unproven therapy in my professional opinion. As I have said many times, I urge patients who want to try stem cells to seek out well-respected university settings and volunteer for studies.
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