Macular Degeneration Stem Cell Treatment Trials Start in July

Stem cell treatment trials for patients suffering from macular degeneration began in July at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Cells derived from human embryonic stem cells will be used in this macular degeneration trial in an attempt to either slow or halt the progression of both macular degeneration and dystrophy.

Twenty-four patients have been selected for this stem cell treatment and will have the cells injected into their eyes as part of this trial.  It is hoped this stem cell treatment will heal the damage brought on by the macular eye diseases.

Macular degeneration damages the retinal cells in the eye.  This new stem cell treatment will replace the retinal cells but it has proven to be somewhat controversial because the replacement cells are derived from human embryonic stem cells.

Advanced Cell Technology has been developing this new macular degeneration stem cell treatment for 10 years and it is hoped patients suffering from dry macular degeneration will benefit.  Twelve of the patients selected have dry macular degeneration and the other twelve suffer from Stargardt’s macular dystrophy which is a version of macular degeneration affecting people 10 to 20 years old.

Each group will receive a number of stem cell treatments and be monitored for the first 12 months to determine the safety of the procedure.

Dry macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness and the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 55 and over.  The number of people expected to be diagnosed with the disease is expected to double in the next 20 years.

There is no cure or treatment currently in place for dry macular degeneration, making the potential of this stem cell treatment very exciting to those who are suffering from the eye disease.

It is hoped the new retinal cells derived from stem cells will grow and eventually restore the retina to a healthy state.  This would provide a treatment for these two previously untreatable eye diseases and hope for those suffering from many other diseases.

If this stem cell treatment for macular degeneration is a success, the trial may be expanded to include more patients.


  1. I hope this works and that those with wet macular degeneration, especially those with only one seeing eye, can be include in treatment with Stem Cell Therapy.

  2. Abd Elsalam Ahmed Khalil says:

    I have a macular degeneration and i want to know any new news about these treatment
    Thank you

  3. mahnaz loghmani says:

    hello,please tell me,what about weat amd with scar tissu in macula,at stem cell traphy.thanks for your answer

  4. Nancy Matsko says:

    I have dry macular degeneration and am very interested in the new treatments to help restore central vision. Please send any news and updates to treatment for Dry macular degeneration. I would be inerested in being a part of any new trials for this condition. Thank you.

  5. Pkease advuse if stem cell treatment has success with AMD and where can I receive treatment.

  6. anna stanovic says:

    I am interested in this study for my father who has this condition and is progressively getting worse.

  7. Diana Knight says:

    Just received my 10th shot of avastin for wet mascular degeneration. Where can I get more info on stem cell research trials or treatment? Thanks for any info.

  8. Jill Renault says:

    Why are embryonic stem cells being used, when only adult stem cells have produced cures? Ref: Newman, L., Transplanted Stem Cells May Aid AMD Patients, Ophthalmology Times, 15 February 2001; commenting on research by Young, M.J. and Klassen, H.J. in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, September 2000.

    There is no reason to use embryonic cells, except for the fact that the President has funded research using them, and left adult stem cell research high and dry.

    While I hope and pray for a cure, the end does not justify the means of human sacrifice.

  9. I am interested in receiving updates on Wet AMD as my father who is 85 has had three Avastin injections in one eye so far and one injection in the other eye with no improvement yet. Thanks.

  10. I would like to know if it would be possible to get my father, uncle and aunt into the trials if the trials are expanded? I have been diagnosed with AMD but my father and uncle are blind suffering from dry AMD whereas my aunt has wet AMD in one eye and dry AMD in one eye and has been receiving injections for over a year.

  11. Wendy from Swaziland, Africa says:

    My husband is 70 and has wet AMD in both eyes. Lost central vision in right eye after cataract was used. On left eye had 15 avastin injections and cataract removed. He cannot drive anymore. He is healthy besides his vision. This has made him very depressed, naturally.Please Please let me know about the stem cell treatment and if it works. I heard a clinic in Switzerland cures AMD?

  12. Hi . I am 37 yr old male with amd . I spoke to alot of retina doctors and they told me theres no cure for what i have. But other doctors are telling me stem cell work to cure my amd. Thesres a doctor in calofornia doctor steemblock says he cures amd using stem cells. Just want to know if stell cells are the cure for amd. Or is it a lie?

  13. Is any pharmaceutical company continuing the clinical trials on Fenretinide for dry
    and wet AMD? ReVision Therapeutics could not afford to continue the trials. The
    first two phases of the clinical trial were very positive. Thank you.

  14. fadi rakha says:

    well i have dry macular degenration and i am 16 and its making a real problem for me at night i am %100
    blind but in the morning i feel a little better and i wish the stem cell’s will heal it or something

  15. Good day,

    can anyone share some feedback about the stem cell treatment that weredone

  16. My doctor here in NYC,dr.gaetano barile,suggested that I contact you with respect of hopefully becoming eligible for your ma cular degeneration study…my left eye is ,no other words will do…kaput.
    Please,please let hear from you..

  17. My 91 yr. old mother has AMD in both eyes and has been blind for the past 6 years. Aside from her vision, she is a very healthy 91 yr. old however since she became blind (sees only minimal shadows) she has been very depressed and is losing her will to live. If the stem cell treatment works this would truly be a god send for her. She hasn’t given up that one day she will be able to see her children’s and grandchildren’s faces again. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for a vibrant energentic person getting up one morning, having her cup of coffee and reading the newspaper and suddenly, wow, no vision. This is what happened to my mother. So sudden.

    If there is any information or clinic you can refer me to that would be wonderful. I know my mother would try anything in order to get even some of her vision back.

  18. I am so excited about these findings. I, too, have dry macular and it totally changes your life. Let’s hope this works for all of us

  19. Hi Folks, has anyone heard of any updates or outcomes from this trial. I’ve recently become friends with a 20 year old who has been suffering from macular degeneration since she was 10 years old. She has a love of horses, – which has grown as her vision has deteriorated. She will likely never be able to drive, so this gives her some freedom! Her current prognosis has been challenging with mapping her career plans. Would love to find a link or contact to review the results and see if there is / was / will be a second trial group or outcome from this!

  20. James D. Farmer says:

    For the millions of people suffering from MD, I among them, the use of stem-cells that would otherwise be trashed is a very good idea.

  21. Nane Lawson says:

    My 15 yr old has been diagnosed w/ dry macular degeneration (optic disk drusen) , I am looking for any treatment options to save her sight. Please post any updates with these trials.

  22. Gerald Nelson says:

    I have hace had AMD for ten years now. When I first learned about it I researched and discovered the rheopheriesis treatments-I did this for every six months for four and a half years. My AMD was getting slightly worse each year-all these tretments were doing was slowing the disease down.
    I then investigated the stem cell tretments at the x-cell center in Germany. It cost a lot of money but I went there . I belleive it helped my rifht eye (the stongest one) but the left eye was showing signs of wet AMD when they did the treatments (both eyes).
    Now two years later I have had the lucentis tretments in my left eye (3) and has stoped the bleeding. But now my right eye -the one that has allowed me to keep driving has weakened enough that they may take my driving priveleges away
    I am interested in ant new medicine ir stem cell treatments.
    The oldcx-cell center has now moved from Germany to Lebonan and I do not want to go there.
    If anyone has any info where I can get a Rheopheresis treatment I would like to know and I would like to yake part in the nexr sert of stem cell tretments.
    I am 78 yrs. old,with Diabetes 2but otherwise not too bad for am old man.
    Gerald Nelson

  23. My mother has dry mac in one eye and wet mac in the other eye. After 3 injections the dr. stopped the injections as he said the area around the retina had dried. At that point the damage to the retina was done. Central vision is not good. Went to a low vision specalist dr. who worked with my mom using different lenses for inside and outside of the house and we purchased one of each. They help to a degree. I have read of people on this page that have had ten injections into the eye and I wonder why such a variant from 3 to 10 injections. My moms doctor stated that Wills Eye hospital in Philadelphia is beginning a large trial which he is involved in for those who have only dry mac. Those who have had dry to wet to dry again like my mom are not being included in this study. I have also found from dr. Maguire that once this develops in a family it may be passed onto children from the affected mother or father. Right now he is treating with a vitamin called Eyecaps, but only the variety which states on the label that it has the “Areds Formulation” in the vitamin. This is suppose to slow the progression of the mac. I am frustrated and somewhat angry that I can’t help more than take her to her appointments and make sure she has 4 capsules a day. Somehow and I guess on many different levels it just plain sucks. I wonder if there is any further breakthrough with this in England or anywhere in Europe? If I could find something better for mom in Canada I would take her in a heartbeat as we have family in hamilton, Missassauga, Brampton and we would just stay and try and work it out. Let me know if anyone has anything better!
    Is there really a loving God that allows us to have these crosses????

  24. Paula Amsler says:

    I have dry macular degenration, I would like to reeceive any information in regards to this new process. As all of the people that suffer from this problem, we pray that it works and that we can benifit from this..
    I am extremly anxious to hear hopefully wonderful benefits from this. I would like to have been one of the people that was in the experiment. How do we get this priviledge ?

Speak Your Mind