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Stem cell success for macular degeneration

Stem cell success for macular degeneration

Thursday 10 May 2018

A ground-breaking stem-cell implant procedure has enabled a man and a woman suffering from severe wet macular degeneration (AMD) to read again. Experts claim the procedure offers real hope to AMD sufferers.

The two patients, and man in his 80’s and a woman in her 60’s, had a stem cell patch inserted under the retina of each eye. Both were then monitored for a year. The results were astonishing. Both patients went from not being able to read at all to reading up to 80-words-per-minute with their normal reading glasses.

Stem cells have been used before to help AMD sufferers, but this is the first time a lab-grown patch has been transplanted into a human eye. The procedure was devised by scientists from UCL and Moorfields, who acknowledge that this is a very small test group and that further work needs to be done before the operation is made available to a broader patient base.

Professor Lyndon da Cruz, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields, says: “what we have learned from this study will benefit many more in the future.”


  1. Telegraph:
    Stem cell patch allows word-blind patients to read again.

  2. Sky News:
    Two patients regain vision damaged by AMD after stem cell treatment trial.



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  • viviane phillips
    23 Jul 2018

    As a sufferer of both wet and dry macular degeneration, I would like to know when this treatment will be available to me.

    Serious Readers reply:

    Thank you for your comments Viviane. The trial is in its early days. Professor Pete Coffey, from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, has said: "We hope this will lead to an affordable 'off-the-shelf' therapy that could be made available to NHS patients within the next five years.". An abstract of the research is available at . In addition, The Telegraph published an informative article on the findings which you will find at . We hope you find this helpful.

  • Hazel Davie
    04 Aug 2018

    I have AMD in my right eye, which has been arrested by the wonderful administrations of Mr. Patel at Moorfields, and I am in the stable clinic now, although I do not have good in my right eye, and live in dread of getting AMD in my left eye.
    This is huge news and I can only hope that it it does not take five years before it is available to the wider patient base, of whom I know several; what a wonderful breakthrough. Thank you. Hazel Davie

    Serious Readers reply:

    Dear Hazel, many thanks for your feedback. We are delighted to hear that you have had success with your treatment. We will keep you posted on further advances in the treatment of macular degeneration.

  • Katrina Patterson
    05 Aug 2018

    Hi I have a macula hole right in the middle of the retina of my dominant left eye. Would this therapy also heal that? Exciting news. How does one get on the list for consideration> (Since developing the hole, I've noticed a character change that I'd like to reverse!)

    Serious Readers reply:

    Dear Katrina, thanks for your feedback on the article. For more detailed information on the therapy and how to get involved in trials, we suggest you contact the author of the research Professor Lyndon da Cruz via this link We hope you find this useful.

  • Linda Jones
    12 Jan 2019

    My husband had wet AMD in his right eye and dry AMD in his left. He has now been discharged by the Eye Clinic because his eyesight is failing because of atrophy in both eyes. Is the stem cell therapy likely to be helpful in restoring his sight?

    Serious Readers reply:

    Hi Linda. Many thanks for your comments. Serious Readers do not undertake the research that we write about, we simply act as a custodian of all the latest news relating to sight and light. So we are not in a position to answer this question. Our advice would be to contact the research team who conducted the trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital. The research was led by Professor Lyndon da Cruz, consultant ophthalmologist, and he can be contacted by email at

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