Doctors successful retinal stem cell treatment

Doctors successfully transplanted retinal stem cells from a donor to the recipient in the first ever surgery of its type. Previously, doctors had performed a retinal stem cell transplant back in 2014 using that patient’s own skin cells that were reprogrammed. That procedure was considered a success after a year with no decline in the patient’s vision and the macular degeneration was stopped.

In this most recent surgery, scientists retrieved mature cells from a donor and then reprogrammed them into an embryonic state. The reprogrammed cells were then able to be manipulated into a specific cell-type to treat macular degeneration. These repurposed cells were then transplanted onto the recipient’s retina.

No further announcements will be made regarding the patient’s progress until all five of the scheduled transplants have been completed. Scientists will be unable to determine the effectiveness of the transplant until the fate of the donated cells and the patient’s progress have been completely evaluated but scientists are hopeful that this potential new therapy will be viable.

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