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11 Aug 2016 8 Comments

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Used In Clinical Trials Of Macular Degeneration

The Phase 2 clinical trial done at University of Illinois, Chicago is all set to establish the safety of Macular Degeneration using Cord blood stem cells, before initiation of larger trial to determine its efficacy.

Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the central visual field resulting in blurred or no central vision. Macula lies in the retina and acts as a camera that captures the image. The reasons why macula gets deteriorated is related to age, heredity, environment and other idiopathic factors.

Macular degeneration is also a progressive condition that degrades the light sensitive cells, at the centre of the retina. There are 2 types of macular degeneration the dry and the wet type, neither of it is curable. The dry type is slower in progress and is prevalent over 90% of the patients.

A person with severe macular degeneration is legally blind and faces every disability of a blind person. The incidence of this condition across the globe is on an increasing trend, with a projection of 6.3 million by 2030 only in the US.

Dr. Yannek Leiderman, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Illinois, said that this clinical trial for macular degeneration is the need for the hour because at present this condition has no cure. The researcher also remarked that this trial would establish the right treatment protocol that will stop the progress of macular degeneration and restore the vision in affected patients.

Phase -2 clinical trial has engaged multi-potent cells derived from umbilical cord blood to be injected into the eye with the hope to deter the progress of macular degeneration. The trial is on its way to establish the safety of injecting these stem cells into the eye.

These studies are based on the recent studies that suggest, injecting umbilical cord stem cells into the eye can replace the retinal pigment epithelial cells that support the light sensitive cells which are destroyed by macular degeneration.

These new retinal pigment epithelial cells have the capacity to delay or reverse the macular degeneration said the researchers. However, the need to establish the safe way to place these cells behind the retina without any further damage is being ruled out in this clinical trial.

If this treatment proves safe a larger trial to confirm the efficacy of cord blood stem cells in macular degeneration will be carried out immediately. The success of this clinical trial will also confirm if stem cells are injected early in dry age related macular degeneration, will slow down the loss of retinal pigment epithelial and photoreceptor cells.


If you want to know more about the benefits of umbilical cord stem cells and its preservation, click on the link below:







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