Editors Note: I thought an update on the various research and trials in this area was warranted.
Followed by bone marrow transplant, LSCD is now approved for stem cell based therapy. In conversation with ETHealthworld, Dr Virender S Sangwan, Director, Srujana-Center for Innovation, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, discusses the success story of SLET ( Simple Limbal Epithelial Transplantation ) which has emerged as a more effective procedure than all previous techniques including cell cultivation.
1. Could you please tell us more on Stem Cell treatment in eye care?
There are several areas in the eye which are being investigated by treatment with stem cells. Most active being limbal stem cell therapy for severe ocular surface disease including ocular surface burns. On clinical trials registry there are at least 36 clinical trials registered for treating eye diseases. In Europe, Holoclar, a limbal stem cell therapy for LSCD (limbal stem cell deficiency) was approved by European Medical Agency in March 2015. This is only the second stem cell based treatment approved in Europe and the first being bone-marrow stem cell treatment.
2. How did you first decide to research on this technique?
When I came back in 1998, from Harvard University, USA, to L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), I was seeing lots of patients with chemical injury to ocular surface burn but we were not offering any definitive treatment to these patients and were telling nothing can be done for their condition. This condition is called Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency (LSCD). I talked to my colleagues about limbal stem cell treatment for these patients and they told me that they…