Aiming to cure blindness, UK team implants embryonic retinal cells in AMD patient
- It is estimated that one on 10 people over the age of 65 have some degree of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Wet AMD is the most serious type, as compared with dry AMD, and leads to loss of vision.
- A U.K. team has carried out a Pfizer-funded regenerative surgery, led by Professor Lyndon Da Cruz at Mooresfield Eye Hospital.
- The surgical team implanted embryonic stem retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells into the eyes of a 60-year-old woman with wet AMD.
This is not the first stem cell-based surgery in AMD patients at Mooreshead. But it is the first time that embryonic stem cells were used in such an operation.
Previously, 40 AMD patients were implanted with cells from their own eyes. The surgical procedure was effective in some patients, making it possible for them to read and to drive again.
However, despite the success of this procedure, it was complex and risky. Clearly, having access to a limitless supply of embryonic cells simplifies the process significantly.