British researchers have improved the site of patients with a congenital defect, using stem cells that appear to recruit their own stem cells from the bone marrow. From The Argus news report:
Four patients have so far received the treatment successfully in one eye and reported an improvement in their comfort and vision, and now await treatment in their other eye.
All had little or no vision because they had few or no limbal stem cells under the eyelid which help keep the surface of the cornea clear and healthy.
Mr Daya believes the stem cell transplant somehow triggered the production of new limbal stem cells in the patients.
He said: “We think the donor cells have attracted stem cells from the bone marrow to make new limbal stem cells, which have arrived at the eye through the bloodstream.”
Mr Daya said that if donor cells could trigger stem cell regeneration in eyes, they could also work in other organs such as the liver and pancreas.
He said: “Once we understand what has prompted their growth, then we can understand what they can do for other parts of the body.
“It’s extremely exciting.”
Once again showing that the promise and future of regenerative therapy is in learning to recruit and stimulate the patient’s own stem cells.
And no one has to die for it.