Stem Rx Bioscience Solutions Successfully Uses Cell Therapy For Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Stem Rx Bioscience Solutions Pvt Ltd, based in Navi Mumbai, successfully restored the sight of a 58 year old man with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through cell therapy.
Vision loss caused by AMD can be restored by using the patient’s own stem cells to repair damaged tissue and cure the disease.
“Vision loss has a huge impact on a person’s life, but many of the disorders that cause blindness are currently difficult or impossible to treat,” said Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher, StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Bombay.
AMD is a condition that affects central vision. It affects the macula, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, due to which the ability to clearly see objects that are straight ahead is affected. AMD occurs frequently in older people, usually after the age of 50, due to progressive thinning of the macula or even due to abnormal growth of blood vessels under the retina.
The patient, Shyam Karanje, was diagnosed with cataracts in October 2015. Few further investigations revealed that there was abnormal growth of the membrane in his right eye, which means he had new blood vessels. abnormalities that were developing in his eye. So, he was finally diagnosed with AMD and that was the reason for his reduced vision. Despite multiple injections of a drug to stop blood vessel growth and prevent leakage, he did not get any improvement. He was subsequently advised for some type of laser therapy and eventually surgery, but was told that the success of the procedures to restore his vision was unpredictable. Karanje has lost almost 75% of his vision since diagnosis.
Dr Mahajan explained, “After studying the patient’s history, we decided to locally deliver cells via eye drops. We have planned 3 to 4 treatment sessions, each session lasting 3 days. Vials of stem cells were regularly provided to the patient for further treatment. There was no surgery. The patient was instructed to use the cells as eye drops. Nutraceuticals have been recommended for supportive care.
He added, “Cell therapy delivers new, healthy specialized cells and initiates healing and replacement of damaged cells in the eye. Stem cells have several other functions by which they maintain homeostasis or balance in different organs, including the eye. Normally, stem cells in the eye (and other organs) renew themselves periodically and generate new cells; however, with age, this production slows down. In addition, coexisting conditions such as diabetes or any condition related to the blood vessels may further affect the normal functions of stem cells. Thus, conditions such as AMD occur.
Therefore, providing healthy cells will help regenerate lost tissue and create a healthy environment in the eye which helps restore lost function / vision.
After completing all of the treatment sessions, the patient said, “I was having problems with my daily activities due to poor eyesight. For example, while reading, looking or searching for household items, walking, etc., I was unable to clearly see what was in front of me. For this reason, I needed help with several daily activities. However, after the treatment, I gradually started to notice improvement in my vision. Even the doctors were positive about the changes. During a control, I was able to read the first row of the table, which was not possible before.
Later, a retinal specialist also confirmed the improvement and suggested routine follow-up alone. The patient has been told that he does not need any further treatment as his condition is stable and his vision is constantly improving.