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Stem cell treatment offers hope to eye patients

Stem cells

Scientists at the Queen Victoria Hospital in West Sussex are using pioneering stem cell treatments to restore patient's sight.

Patients with damaged corneas are being treated with stem cells from donors or the patients, which are grown into sheets in laboratories.

Similar operations are being offered to patients in Japan, Italy, Taiwan, the US and India.

Tests conducted by the hospital indicate that 70 per cent of their first patients had an improvement in the condition of the surface of the eye.

Scientists believe that the patient's body adopts the stem cells, since there was no donor DNA traces found on the surface of the eye.

Mr Daya, an eye specialist at the hospital said: "We think the donor cells have attracted stem cells from the bone marrow to make new limbal stem cells, which have arrived at the eye through the bloodstream. 

 

"Once we understand what has prompted their growth, then we can understand what they can do for other parts of the body," he explained.

Patients with limbal stem cell deficiency or chemical or thermal injuries to their eyes can be treated with this technique.

People with Stevens Johnsons Syndrome, Aniridia and ectodermal dysplasia could all benefit from the surgery.

© Adfero Ltd

 

Treatment news : 16/03/2007

 

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