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Ocular surface repairs following stem cell transplant

University of Edinburgh researchers have conducted a randomised clinical trial in 16 limbal stem cell deficiency patients

30 Jan 2019 by Selina Powell

University of Edinburgh scientists have reported improvements in the ocular surface of limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) patients following treatment with stem cells from donor corneas.

The research, which is published in Stem CellsTranslational Medicine, involved a randomised clinical trial with 16 patients.

All patients were given eye drops and medicine to reduce the chance of transplant rejection, while half of the patients also received a stem cell transplant.

After 18 months, the patients who were given stem cells displayed significant repair in the ocular surface, which was not seen in the control group.

Both the stem cell group and the control group experienced vision improvements, which the researchers have recommended investigating further through a larger trial.

Professor Baljean Dhillon, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “The findings from this small study are very promising and show the potential for safe stem cell eye surgery as well as improvements in eye repair.”

Image credit: Nissim Benvenisty

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