Last week, a study published in Science Translational Medicine showed the possibilities of stem cells as a treatment for dry AMD.
What exactly is the treatment?
It’s a subretinal implant of a “layer of human embryonic stem cell-derived RPE cells on an ultrathin supportive structure.” The supportive structure is designed to mimic Bruch’s membrane.
How many patients were treated?
Four patients with advanced dry AMD received the implant in California.
How are they doing?
Good. None of the patients showed progression of vision loss and one eye even gained 17 letters on the chart. Also, OCT images showed changes that were consistent with integration between the implant and host photoreceptors. This connection is critical for visual function.
This sounds familiar. Didn’t you already talk about this?
Yes, two weeks ago actually. But not this exact study, a different one was published in Nature with a similar concept that involved two patients with wet AMD, not dry like this one.
These efforts show there is hope on the horizon for our AMD patients. (via)