Stem Cell Therapy for Eye Disease: What You Need to Know
Stem cell therapies are getting headlines for their potential to cure diseases, including those that affect vision. But an important message is missing: the therapies are not yet proven to be safe and effective for your eyes.
Stem cell treatments appear to offer hope to people with few options to recover vision. This includes people with forms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and Stargardt disease. Some clinics across the United States offer "stem-cell therapy" to people outside of clinical trials. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the treatments they offer. These treatments often use unproven products that may be ineffective or dangerous. These products may carry serious risks, including tumor growth.
It is frustrating and frightening to face the loss of vision while waiting for potential treatments. However, choosing to pursue an unproven treatment in an unlicensed clinic is an unacceptable risk to your vision and your overall health.