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Question:
I have been diagnosed with scarring of my left retina (probably caused by toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can cause inflammation in the back of the eye) in the center of my vision. Is there a treatment coming out any time soon with stem cells (biological cells that can be adapted to treat disease and repair tissue)?

Answer:
Stem cell therapy holds a lot of potential in the future for helping diseased and damaged eyes. Currently, there are two main issues with stem cell therapy: delivery of cells to the needed area, and ensuring the cells develop into the proper tissue. In your situation, there would also need to be some way to remove the scar without damaging the other vital parts of the retina. Current stem cell trials (early phase I studies) are being done with patients who have very poor vision in both eyes and there are safety issues around the delivery of the cells. The bottom line is: there is nothing in the short term (2 to 3 years) for your situation but in the longer term (5 to 10 years) there may well be a way to utilize stem cells to help correct the scar in your eye.

Answered by: John Kitchens, MD Dr. John W. Kitchens

Categories: Eye Diseases

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Answered: Mar 02, 2014

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