The first autologous transplantation of an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) sheet to treat age-related macular degeneration has been successful according to findings by Prof. Masayo Takahashi at the European Society of Ophthalmology in Vienna meeting.
The first iPS-derived RPE cell sheet was transplanted into a Japanese woman in her 70s on 12 September 2014. The woman had age related macular degeneration that was non-responsive to anti-VEGF therapy.
Professor Takahashi reported, “no adverse event or immune rejection was observed. Retinal thickness decreased, and no recurrence of CNV occurred. While the patient was progressively losing vision in the course of anti-VEGF treatment, stabilisation was achieved after RPE transplantation surgery, and she could stop the injections”.
The patient reported vision to be “brighter than before” and white to be “clearer than before”.
Professor Takahashi said the case proved autologous RPE transplantation may be safe and effective. However, the cost, “comparable to an F1 Super Car”, was not feasible. “That’s why we are moving to allogenic transplantation, evaluating immune responses, genetic compatibility and HLA matching,” said
Professor Takahashi adding that Anti-VEGF is not a radical cure and relies on repeated treatment…
Professor Takahashi adding that Anti-VEGF is not a radical cure and relies on repeated treatment.
“If the RPE is damaged, RPE replacement is needed, and if photoreceptor cells are damaged, we need photoreceptor transplantation. Regenerative medicine is gradually improving, and these new treatments will become available in 10 to 20 years.”