Lighting a future path for AMD treatment

Ground-breaking stem cell transplant restores patient vision in study


The successful use of stem cells to restore vision in an age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patient has been announced by the recent team behind the transplant.

The world-first treatment was presented to the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) conference this week (1–5 May, Seattle).

Researchers reported that the patient experienced “slightly” improved vision, which lasted a year after the transplant.

The transplanted cells originally came from a flap of the 70-year-old female patient’s arm skin. These were then transformed back into a pluripotent state, and then into retinal pigment epithelial cells, in the research by the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Japan.

These newly created eye cells were implanted into one eye of the patient, and the cells survived to the one-year follow-up consultation.

The patient was diagnosed with wet AMD that did not respond to other forms of treatment.