Another Victory for Adult Stem Cells – Vision Restored

ABC World News reported, “This is big medical news. We learned today that doctors have restored sight to some people blinded by accidents” by “harvesting stem cells from their own eyes to grow new corneas.”

The AP reports, that, according to a study published online June 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported last week at a meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, “dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells – a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field.”

In fact, Italian researchers say that “the treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far.”

The Time “Wellness” blog reported, “In a study of 106 patients treated between 1998 and 2007, researchers were able to extract adult stem cells from healthy eye tissue, grow additional stem cells in the lab, and secure them over the damaged eye tissue.”

But, “the treatment technique is limited to people who still have some healthy eye tissue and at least partial vision, as it requires extracting some living stem cells to cultivate new ones.”

Vision for many of the patients “was restored within mere months of treatment.”

“Interestingly, the procedure was successful in some patients who had been burned years before entering the study,” HealthDay reported.

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