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Katrina Norfleet
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Posted: 5/3/2016

First skin-to-eye stem cell transplant in humans successful

Seattle, Wash. – Researchers have safely transplanted stem cells derived from a patient’s skin to the back of the eye in an effort to restore vision. The research is being presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) this week in Seattle, Wash.

A small piece of skin from the patient’s arm was collected and modified into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). The iPSCs were then transformed into eye cells, which were transplanted into the patient’s eye. The transplanted cells survived without any adverse events for over a year and resulted in slightly improved vision. The patient suffered from advanced wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that did not respond to current standard treatments.

iPSCs are adult cells that have been reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state, which can then be differentiated into any cell type found in the body. 

Abstract Title: Transplantation of Autologous Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell Sheets for Exudative Age Related Macular Degeneration: A Pilot Clinical Study
Presentation Start/End Time: Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 4:30pm – 4:45pm
Location: 6B
Abstract Number: 3769

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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include nearly 12,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. 

All abstracts accepted for presentation at the ARVO Annual Meeting represent previously unpublished data and conclusions. This research may be proprietary or may have been submitted for journal publication. Embargo policy: Journalists must seek approval from the presenter(s) before reporting data from paper or poster presentations. Press releases or stories on information presented at the ARVO Annual Meeting may not be released or published until the conclusion of the presentation.

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