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Cell therapy for retinal disease

Ehmann, David; Shahlaee, Abtin; Ho, Allen C.

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: May 2016 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 185–190
doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000254
RETINAL, VITREOUS AND MACULAR DISORDERS: Edited by Brandon G. Busbee and John W. Kitchens

Purpose of review The following review will provide an update on stem cell therapy with a focus on completed and ongoing human trials.

Recent findings Significant progress has brought stem cell therapy from proof-of-concept animal models to human clinical trials. Although in its infancy, valuable safety and efficacy data are starting to emerge from trials looking at cell therapies for age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt's macular dystrophy, retinitis pigmentosa, and ischemic retinopathies.

Summary Although clinical trials continue to enroll and evaluate stem cell therapy in patients with retinal diseases, preliminary results using both cellular replacement and trophic models have provided initial support for this exciting therapy. Results of these pivotal trials will form a key foundation for moving forward toward the ultimate goal of preventing blinding disease.

Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence to Allen C. Ho, Wills Eye Hospital, 840 Walnut Street, Suite 1020, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. E-mail:

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.