The medical article is linked here (pdf) (fair use)
The excerpts from the discussion are:
We provide clinical evidence suggesting that
hESC-derived cells might be safely transplanted into
human patients (panel). In our study, we transplanted a
low dose (5×10⁴ cells) of RPE cells generated from hESCs
into one eye of two patients with different forms of
Our study is designed to test the safety and tolerability of hESC-RPE in patients with advanced-stage Stargardt’s macular dystrophy and dry age-related macular degeneration.
So far, the cells seem to have transplanted into both patients without abnormal proliferation, teratoma formation, graft rejection, or other untoward pathological reactions or safety signals. Continued follow-up and further study is needed. The ultimate therapeutic goal will be to treat patients earlier in the disease processes, potentially increasing the likelihood of photoreceptor and central visual rescue.and the NY times article is available here.
Both patients, who were legally blind, told researchers that they had gains in eyesight that were meaningful for them. One said she could see colors better and was able to thread a needle and sew a button for the first time in years. The other said she was able to navigate a shopping mall by herself.Still, it is hard to judge much from only two patients, especially when there was no control group given a placebo treatment.Indeed, Dr. Schwartz said that the improvement in vision of the woman who could go to the mall might have been a placebo effect, though he thought the improvement in the other patient did result from the implanted cells.Yet another reason to be cautious is that Advanced Cell Technology has had a reputation for publicizing its positive work, in part because it has often been on the brink of insolvency.