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    Stem cell trial aims to cure AMD

    London—The London Project to Cure Blindness announced it successfully performed a surgery to transplant retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) derived from stem cells into a patient suffering from vision loss from wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

    The surgery was the first in a trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of transplanting the cells using a specifically engineered patch inserted behind the retina. The surgery takes one to two hours.

    More on retina: Bad blue light, macular pigment, and prescriptive carotenoids

    According to the London Project to Cure Blindness, the operation took place last month, and there have been no complications reported. The organization says it hopes to report the patient’s outcome in terms of initial visual recovery by early December 2015.

    Researches plan to recruit 10 patients over an 18-month period. The patients will be followed over the course of 12 months to assess the safety and stability of the cells and their effect in restoring vision.

    “There is real potential that people with wet age-related macular degeneration will benefit in the future from transplantation of these cells,” says retinal surgeon Lyndon Da Cruz, MA, MBBS, PhD, FRCOphth, FRACO, from Moorfields Eye Hospital, who is performing the operations and is co-leading the London Project.

    Next: The future of AMD treatment?

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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