Stem Cell Treatment of Macular Degeneration Results in Blindness
Recently three patients ended up losing their sight as a result of stem cell treatment for their age related macular degeneration in a Florida Clinic. Apparently they believed they were participating in a clinical trial which was not the case. The treatment was not standard of care for macular degeneration.
Stem Cell Treatment of Macular Degeneration is Normally Tightly Controlled in Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are tightly regulated and go through several phases before drug treatment is released to the general public. However, the practice of medicine does not go through a formal approval process. It is held to a generally acceptable standard of care seen in the community. That does not stop the practice of questionable procedures but it does increase the liability for doing so. There are several ongoing clinical trials of stem cell treatment of macular degeneration that are showing positive results.
Safeguard You Vision By Being Aware of Legitimate Clinical Trials
Take the time to research any proposed clinical trials at: http://ClinicalTrials.gov . There should be ample education and release forms that advise you of the risks and potential rewards of the procedure. Clinical trials are somewhat difficult to enroll in as you usually have to need specific criteria. Frequently you are not ensured that you will be in the treatment population as there needs to be a control non treated group. Many clinical trials do not end with positive results and thus the actual possibility for treatment may end at the finish of the study (or sooner if it becomes evident there are no beneficial effects). If you want to enroll in a clinical trial you should discuss it with your regular eye care provider first. For more information about this unfortunate situation see the following article: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/877280?nlid=113498_449&src=WNL_mdplsfeat_170321_mscpedit_opth&uac=228873SN&spon=36&impID=1312644&faf=1#vp_1
Please take note that the standard of care for macular degeneration in the wet form is VEGF injections of drugs like avastin and eylea. In the dry form the AREDS2 supplements are the standard of care. There are legitimate clinical trials of stem cells but the are investigational only.