Seeing the Light: Stem Cell Treatment Reverses Blindness

Stem cell treatments restore sight to 75 percent of patients blinded by burns from chemicals.

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People who have been blinded by chemical burns now have new hope. Researchers in an Italian study have successfully transplanted stem cells from a patient's healthy eye and placed it into the damaged or burned eye to correct blindness. The stem cells were able to grow new corneal tissue to replace what had been damaged. Because the stem cells are from their own bodies, patients do not need to take anti-rejection drugs. According to the study, the treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to 10 years. This is a success for the cell-therapy field. We consider it a success for fighting blindness. If stem cell research is wrong, we don't want to be right.

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