Stem cell treatment restores sight to damaged eye.

BBC News (12/22) reported that a UK man, Russell Turnbull, who “lost the sight in one eye in 1994 when he was squirted with ammonia” and “was left with Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency…a painful condition which requires constant treatment,” has had sight restored in his damaged eye.
The UK’s Telegraph (12/22, Alleyne) reported that surgeons removed “a millimetre-squared section of” Turnbull’s “left eye, complete with stem cells,” then grew “it to 400 times that size in the laboratory.” Next, they stitched “the new outer skin of the eye…onto the badly damaged cornea in place of the damaged membrane.” To date, this “technique, developed by scientists and eye surgeons at the North East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), has been used on eight patients,” nearly “completely” restoring vision for most of those patients.
The “procedure has so far been carried out only on those who have lost their sight in one eye,” the UK’s Daily Mail (12/23, Sims, Hope) reports. However, “trials are already under way on patients who have damage to both their eyes — and millions could one day benefit from the treatment,” particularly those “whose eyes have been damaged by contact lenses, in industrial accidents involving thermal or chemical injuries, and by diseases.” Details of the procedure are published in the US journal Stem Cells.
According to the UK’s Guardian (12/22, Sample), researchers said “25 more patients will be treated before the results are submitted to Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which could approve the procedure for use in the NHS next year.” The UK’s Press Association (12/22) also covered the story.

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3 Responses

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  3. Very horrible the stem cells does.. hope my eye don’t get that things.. =(

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