First Successful Skin-To-Eye Stem Cell Transplant

Researchers from RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, presented results for a patient one year after the first ever skin-to-eye stem cell transplant at the Association for Research in Vision and Optometry (ARVO) Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

The 70-year-old patient had wet AMD that was unresponsive to other treatment methods. Skin from the patient’s arm was modified into induced pluripotent stem cells, which are stem cells generated directly from adult cells, then transformed into retinal pigment epithelium. This sheet of RPE cells were then transplanted into the back of the patient’s eye.

One year out from the surgery, the patient’s visual acuity was maintained at the same level (18/200) without the use of anti-VEGF treatments, and the patient’s Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) score improved from 40.7 to 58.3.

Further information:”Transplantation of Autologous induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell Sheets for Exudative Age Related Macular Degeneration : A Pilot Clinical Study

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