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Stem Cell Treatment Restores Vision

Stem Cell Treatment Restores Vision

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New from the medical field shows some hope for using stem cells from a patient’s own eyes to help blind patients see.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A regenerative treatment that uses stem cells taken from the patient’s own eyes is helping some blind patients see again.

Italian researchers report that the stem cell procedure resulted in successful corneal transplantation in three-fourths of patients with blindness in one or both eyes, caused in most patients by chemical or thermal burns.

Vision was at least partially restored in patients who did not have major damage to other parts of the affected eye, says study researcher Graziella Pellegrini, PhD, of the University of Moderna’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Pellegrini and colleagues have performed corneal transplants in around 250 patients over the last decade using the stem cell technique, but it remains experimental and is not being done in the U.S.

Their latest study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings were also reported last week in San Francisco at a meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.