Europe’s first embryonic stem cell trial at Moorfields

Europe's first embryonic stem cell trial at MoorfieldsBritish regulators have given Moorfields approval to begin trials using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).

Twelve patients with Stargardt’s disease will have the cells injected into the eye. You can read more about the trial here.
Although there is great excitement about the trial, Julia knows that the initial phase will simply check safety (…)

“It would be marvellous if I could get some of my sight-loss reversed”, said Julia. “Even if it simply halts the deterioration, that would be great. And the real benefit would be for children. It could mean they don’t need to lose any sight and have normal vision.”

But doctors are urging caution. They are aware that there has been a lot of hype surrounding human embryonic stem cells, because of their potential to turn into any of the 200 or so cell types in the body (…)

It is always worth pointing out that other forms of stem cell treatments have been used successfully for many years.
Bone marrow transplantation is a well-established and proven technology.
More recently, stem cells from a patient’s own bone marrow have been used to help create them a new windpipe.

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