UCLA's Dr. Steven Schwartz (center) transplanting specialized cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into the eyes of the first patients enrolled in two clinical trials (Photo: Reed Hutchinson/UCLA)
UCLA researchers are reporting a milestone in the therapeutic use of stem cells after two legally blind patients who received transplants of specialized retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells reported a modest improvement in their vision. Monitoring of the patients’ progress over a four month period also found no safety concerns, signs of rejection or abnormal cell growth. The researchers are claiming that the success of the procedure could pave the way for a new therapy to treat eye diseases.
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