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Thread: Stem cell treatment 'to cure blindness in five years'

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Stem cell treatment 'to cure blindness in five years'

    05/06/07 - Science & tech section

    Stem cell treatment 'to cure blindness in five years'

    British scientists aim to deliver the world's first stem-cell treatment for blindness within five years, it was announced today.

    A team of researchers and clinicians will develop the use of embryonic stem cells to repair damaged retinas.

    {R}

    Their target is a disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in the developed world.

    Around a quarter of people over the age of 60 in the UK have some degree of vision loss caused by AMD. In Europe as a whole, an estimated 14 million people suffer blindness because of the condition.

    The London Project to Cure AMD will use a £4 million donation from a US private donor to fund the research and attract leading experts from around the world.

    Scientists from University College London, Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and the University of Sheffield are spearheading the research.

    Lead researcher Dr Lyndon Da Cruz said: "Given AMD could affect up to one third of the population by 2070, the potential to create a treatment strategy for this condition is critical and may have a major impact on vision loss in the community."

    AMD is associated with defects in 'RPE' cells which support the light-sensitive photoreceptors of the retina. Without these RPE cells, the rod and cone cells that respond to light cannot survive.

    The new project aims to generate RPE cells from embryonic stem cells in the laboratory and transplant them into the eyes of patients.

    Stem cells are immature, dormant cells with the ability to turn into different cell types. Embryonic stem cells, among the most potent, are obtained from early stage embryos the size of a pinhead.

    There are two types of AMD, "wet" and "dry". While much progress has been made in tackling wet AMD, which is characterised by leaking blood vessels, no treatment is available for dry AMD.

    Professor Alistair Fielder, senior medical adviser for the eye research charity Fight for Sight, said: "The London Project represents a real chance to tackle this untreatable condition and bring hope to many."

    Dr Jim Walsh, a stem cell biologist at the centre, said embryonic stem cells have a tendency to turn into these cells but need a little prompting using growth factors.

    The new retinal support cells are then grown into a 4mm by 6mm "carpet". This is rolled up and injected into a space created underneath the retina. It then pops out into a flat carpet to replace the cells that had degenerated.

    Eventually other cells could be replaced using the same technology and treat a wide range of other visual diseases.

    Professor Alistair Fielder of the charity Fight for Sight said: "We are excited about the work of the team.

    "The London Project represents a real chance to tackle this untreatable condition and bring hope to many.

    "It is marvellous to think that clinical trials could start within five years."


    Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1965

  2. #2
    For those who have friends or loved ones with ,macular degeneration it appears another company will be filing to conduct clinical trials soon.

    "Advanced Cell Technology, which previously said it planned to file an IND this year for using stem cell-derived therapies for treating macular degeneration, announced this week it has developed a technique to generate a type of progenitor cell that could move into the clinic in 2008 for treating a variety of ills.

    Robert Lanza, Advanced Cell's vice president of medical and scientific affairs, told United Press International that the cells -- called hemangioblasts that his group derived from human embryonic stem cells -- have proven their ability to repair vascular damage in the eyes and limbs of animals."

    Published: May 9, 2007 at 8:31 PM

    http://www.upi.com/Health_Business/A...ser_to_trials/
    Last edited by chasb; 06-05-2007 at 07:31 PM.

  3. #3
    The XCell-Centre in Germany already do stem cell cures for AMD so as to stop blindness I am thinking about seeing if they can do something with my AMD problem does anyone know anything about this

  4. #4
    Senior Member ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the fisherman View Post
    The XCell-Centre in Germany already do stem cell cures for AMD so as to stop blindness I am thinking about seeing if they can do something with my AMD problem does anyone know anything about this
    They are not curing anything there.

  5. #5
    Hi Ian

    Thanks for replying, have they got aa treatment for AMD or is it just a scam

  6. #6
    Thank you for posting that Jeremy, The London project to cure AMD is for dry AMD so people with wet AMD like me, dont get to excited

    best regards

  7. #7
    Is that the same 'five years' some give for curing SCI? I hope the blind aren't holding their breaths (ug, pessimism, sorry)

    As it turns out I do have MD so I guess this is good news. I'd love to see them develop a treatment for retinitis though, so my mom could see her grandkids in high-definition instead of through a tiny tunnel.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by the fisherman View Post
    The XCell-Centre in Germany already do stem cell cures for AMD so as to stop blindness I am thinking about seeing if they can do something with my AMD problem does anyone know anything about this
    the fisherman,

    I am skeptical about the claims of the X-cell center, particularly in relationship to cure for blindness. They are doing bone marrow cell transplants and I have not seen any credible data that what they are doing is beneficial for age-related macular degeneration. By the way, I am also very skeptical that the bone marrow cell transplants they are giving intravenously or intrathecally are doing anything for spinal cord injury.

    There are many laboratories working on replacing retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells which are necessary for supporting rods and cones, and hopefully stopping further degeneration, replacing these cells may not replace the rods and cones once they are lost. There is much hope that cell lines derived from embryonic stem cells will stop AMD. For example, the group in UCSF funded by CIRM (California Institute of Regenerative Medicine) is doing good work in this area (Source).

    The good news is that several companies and foundations appear to be investing significant funding into developing therapies of AMD. I think that this is one of the "low-hanging fruits" that embryonic stem cell therapies can and should be developed for. AMD is the major cause of blindness and loss of RPE is believed to be the cause. Replacement of RPE should stop it. But, this is not a "cure" in the sense that it will not reverse the blindness of people who have become blind as a result of AMD.

    Wise.

  9. #9
    hi wise
    thanks for your reply understand what you say thank you

    Have you heard what they are doing for AMD now

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...blindness.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...blindness.html

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-...=searchresults


    I am saving up I might very well need one of these operation,

    If you think it worthy perhaps you could post the links so more people may see them

    Many Thanks

    Best Regards

    Stephens
    Last edited by the fisherman; 08-17-2009 at 03:30 PM. Reason: another link

  10. #10

    Effect of circulating bone marrow stem cells on age-related macular degeneration

    Quote Originally Posted by the fisherman View Post
    hi wise
    thanks for your reply understand what you say thank you

    Have you heard what they are doing for AMD now

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...blindness.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...blindness.html

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-...=searchresults


    I am saving up I might very well need one of these operation,

    If you think it worthy perhaps you could post the links so more people may see them

    Many Thanks

    Best Regards

    Stephens
    I did a literature search on the recent papers that report improvements of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) after treatment with increasing numbers of stem cells from bone marrow. Please note that it is not necessary to take the cells out from the bone marrow and then re-inject them into the blood. The bone marrow normally releases many stem cells into the blood stream and treatment with a hematopoeitic hormone called G-CSF will stimulate proliferation and release of bone marrow stem cells into the blood stream. Also, it is possible to collect these cells from the peripheral blood, culture them, and then re-inject them into the blood.

    In 2009, Otani, et al. [1] at Kyoto University took 31 patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), a distinct type of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). They found that such patients have fewer circulating bone marrow stem cells than normal patients. In 2007, Yodoi, et al. [2] showed that circulating hematopoietic stem cells may play a role in AMD. In 81 patients with AMD, they isolated CD34+ cells and found a significantly lower number of such cells in patients with severe AMD.

    In 2007, Tamaki [3] applied antiangiogenic therapy for CNV and retinal regenerative therapy, in the form of polyion complex (PIC) micelles. Tomita, et al. [4] had earlier showed that bone marrow cells enhance revascularization. Thus, both the rationale and preclinical evidence, as well as clinical evidence, supports bone marrow CD34+ cellular therapy of patients with AMD. As Yodoi, et al. [5] pointed out hematopoietic stem cells are likely to play a role in AMD.

    Wise.

    References Cite

    1. Otani A, Sasahara M, Yodoi Y, Kameda T, Tsujikawa A and Yoshimura N (2009). [Circulating bone marrow-derived stem cells in patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy]. Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 113: 649-55. Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. otan@kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp. PURPOSE: The current study was designed to investigate the role of circulating bone marrow (BM)-derived stem cells in the pathogenesis of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), a distinct type of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). METHODS: Thirty one clinically documented PCV patients were enrolled. Circulating BM-derived stem cells were collected from the patients' peripheral blood and cultured. Colony forming capacity (Hill assay) and migration activity (Boyden chamber system) were examined and analyzed. RESULTS: Colony forming units (CFU-Hill) were significantly fewer in bilateral PCV patients than in unilateral PCV patients. CFU-Hill was impaired in patients with larger (> 5000 microm) PCV lesions compared with patients with smaller PCV lesions. Migration activity of BM-derived stem cells was also reduced significantly in the bilateral PCV patients than in the unilateral PCV patients. CONCLUSIONS: Similar to CNV associated with AMD, impaired functional activity of circulating BM-derived stem cells was observed in PCV patients with bilateral or larger lesions. Circulating BM-derived stem cells may have a role in the pathogenesis of PCV.

    2. Yodoi Y, Sasahara M, Kameda T, Yoshimura N and Otani A (2007). Circulating hematopoietic stem cells in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 48: 5464-72. Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan. PURPOSE: Circulating hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) appear to have roles in the formation of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study was conducted to investigate whether the number or function of HSCs plays a role in neovascular AMD. METHODS: Eighty-one patients with neovascular AMD who underwent comprehensive fundus examinations every 3 months were included. The number of CD34(+) HSCs isolated from peripheral blood was counted by flow cytometry. Serum cytokine levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To examine the function of circulating HSCs, mononuclear cells were cultured and then colony forming unit (CFU-EC) and migration were measured. RESULTS: The number of circulating CD34(+) HSCs was significantly increased in the patients with active CNV without major systemic diseases (stable: 3.8 +/- 0.3 cells/microL, active: 5.5 +/- 0.7 cells/microL, stable versus active: P < 0.05). The number of HSCs correlated positively with the erythropoietin serum level (r = 0.47, P = 0.002). Although there was no significant difference in the CFU-EC between the patients with CNV and the control subjects, a significant decrease of CFU-EC was observed in the patients with bilateral or larger CNV. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that CD34(+) HSCs may be recruited from bone marrow through a signal from active CNV. Furthermore, HSCs may play a role in the severity of CNV.

    3. Tamaki Y (2007). [Novel approach for management of age-related macular degeneration--antiangiogenic therapy and retinal regenerative therapy]. Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 111: 232-68; discussion 269. Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. tamaki-tky@umin.ac.jp. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of legal blindness in developed countries. Even with the recent advent of several treatment options, treatment of exudative AMD, characterized by choroidal neovascularization (CNV), remains difficult. Thus, in this review article, we report on the investigation of novel approaches for the management of AMD, antiangiogenic therapy for CNV, and retinal regenerative therapy. Polyion complex(PIC) micelles have a range in size of several tens of nanometers formed through an electrostatic interaction, and accumulate in solid tumors through an enhanced permeability and retention(EPR) effect. In this study, we examined the distribution of the PIC micelles which encapsulate fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled poly-L-lysine{FITC-P(Lys)} in experimental CNV in rats, to investigate whether PIC micelles can be used for the treatment of CNV. We demonstrated that PIC micelles accumulate in the CNV lesions and are retained in the lesions for as long as 168 hours after intravenous administration. These results raise the possibility that PIC micelles can be used for achieving an effective drug delivery system against CNV. Although photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a very promising treatment for AMD, most patients require repeated treatments. For effective PDT against AMD, the selective delivery of a photosensitizer to the CNV lesions and an effective photochemical reaction at the CNV site are necessary. The characteristic dendritic structure of the photosensitizer prevents aggregation of its core sensitizer, thereby inducing a highly effective photochemical reaction. We present an effective PDT for AMD employing a supramolecular nanomedical device, i.e., a novel dendritic photosensitizer encapsulated in a polymeric micelle formulation. With its highly selective accumulation in CNV lesions, this treatment resulted in a remarkably efficacious CNV occlusion with minimal unfavorable phototoxicity. Our results will provide a basis for an effective approach to PDT for AMD. Spatial control of gene transfection in the body is a core issue in the gene therapy for ocular diseases including AMD. Photochemical internalization (PCI) is a technology that effects light-induced delivery of DNA directly inside cells. PCI usually requires that a photosensitizer be added to the drug-delivery system to photochemically destabilize the endosomal membrane. We have developed a ternary complex composed of a core containing DNA packaged with cationic peptides and enveloped in the anionic dendrimer, phthalocyanine, which provides the photosensitizing action. Subconjunctival injection of the ternary complex followed by laser irradiation resulted in transgene expression only in the laser-irradiated site in rats. This PCI-mediated gene delivery system is potentially useful in gene therapy for ophthalmic diseases. Accumulation of lipofuscin is related to an increased risk of AMD. We report that a major lipofuscin component, A2E(N-retinyledin-N-retinylethanolamin), activates the retinoic acid receptor (RAR). In vivo experiments suggest that A2E accumulation results in the pro-angiogenic conversion of retinal pigment epithelial(RPE) cell phenotype. This physiological consequence of A2E accumulation may be related to a novel potential therapeutic target for CNV. To recover visual function damaged by AMD, retinal regenerative therapy is essential. We investigated whether subretinal transplantation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) promotes photoreceptor survival in a rat model of retinal degeneration. Morphological and functional studies in vivo, including histological analysis and electrophysiological studies, indicate that the subretinal transplantation of MSCs delays retinal degeneration and preserves retinal function. These results suggest that MSC is a useful cell source for cell-transplantation therapy for retinal degeneration. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of development of the fovea, which is composed mainly of cone photoreceptors and is susceptible to injury from AMD, we performed a comparative gene expression analysis between the central and peripheral regions of the monkey retina using monkey (rhesus macaque) genome microarray chips. We then selected the clones which were expressed at significantly higher levels in the central region and confirmed their expression in the monkey retina by section in situ hybridization. This study sheds light on the mechanisms of foveal development and may lead to the development of regenerative medicine for cone photoreceptors.

    4. Tomita M, Yamada H, Adachi Y, Cui Y, Yamada E, Higuchi A, Minamino K, Suzuki Y, Matsumura M and Ikehara S (2004). Choroidal neovascularization is provided by bone marrow cells. Stem Cells. 22: 21-6. First Department of Pathology, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi City, Osaka, Japan. Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a known cause of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). Moreover, the most common cause of blindness in the elderly in advanced countries is ARMD with CNV. It has recently been shown that bone marrow cells (BMCs) can differentiate into various cell lineages in vitro and in vivo. Adults maintain a reservoir of hematopoietic stem cells included in BMCs that can enter the circulation to reach various organs in need of regeneration. It has recently been reported that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) included in BMCs are associated with neovascularization. We examine the role of BMCs in CNV using a model of CNV in adult mice. Using methods consisting of fractionated irradiation (6.0 Gy x 2) followed by bone marrow transplantation (BMT), adult mice were engrafted with whole BMCs isolated from transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Three months after BMT, we confirmed that the hematopoietic cells in the recipients had been completely replaced with donor cells. We then carried out laser photocoagulation to induce CNV in chimeric mice (donor cells >95%). Two weeks after the laser photocoagulation, by which time CNV had occurred, immunohistochemical examination was carried out. The vascular wall cells of the CNV expressed both EGFP and CD31. These findings indicate that newly developed blood vessels in the CNV are derived from the BMCs and suggest that the inhibition of EPC mobilization from the bone marrow to the eyes could be a new approach to the fundamental treatment of CNV in ARMD.

    5. Yodoi Y, Sasahara M, Kameda T, Yoshimura N and Otani A (2007). Circulating hematopoietic stem cells in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 48: 5464-72. Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan. PURPOSE: Circulating hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) appear to have roles in the formation of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study was conducted to investigate whether the number or function of HSCs plays a role in neovascular AMD. METHODS: Eighty-one patients with neovascular AMD who underwent comprehensive fundus examinations every 3 months were included. The number of CD34(+) HSCs isolated from peripheral blood was counted by flow cytometry. Serum cytokine levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To examine the function of circulating HSCs, mononuclear cells were cultured and then colony forming unit (CFU-EC) and migration were measured. RESULTS: The number of circulating CD34(+) HSCs was significantly increased in the patients with active CNV without major systemic diseases (stable: 3.8 +/- 0.3 cells/microL, active: 5.5 +/- 0.7 cells/microL, stable versus active: P < 0.05). The number of HSCs correlated positively with the erythropoietin serum level (r = 0.47, P = 0.002). Although there was no significant difference in the CFU-EC between the patients with CNV and the control subjects, a significant decrease of CFU-EC was observed in the patients with bilateral or larger CNV. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that CD34(+) HSCs may be recruited from bone marrow through a signal from active CNV. Furthermore, HSCs may play a role in the severity of CNV.

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