Ethical and safety issues of stem cell-based therapy part 33

Stem cell 5

 

It was recently reported that three women suffering from macular degeneration, within a week of undergoing “adipose tissue stem cell”-based therapy developed complications including vision loss, detached retina and bleeding and are now totally blind and unlikely recover. The treatment involved combining fat tissue removed from the patients’ abdomens with enzymes to obtain “adipose-derived” stem cells. There were mixed with blood plasma containing large numbers of platelets and injected into the women’s eyes. Although, usually experimental eye procedures are tested on one eye first so that if something goes wrong the patient is still able to see with other eye, in this trial both eyes were treated at once which, at the end, resulted with complete blindness in these patients.

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