Stem Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Lisa C. Olmos, Hossein Nazari, Damien C. Rodger, Mark S. Humayun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive disease of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Geographic atrophy (GA) is initiated by dysfunction and loss of RPE cells followed by photoreceptor loss. Thus, replacing lost and sick RPE with healthy cells may restore vision in GA. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are two main sources for this replacement. There are currently two major approaches to RPE stem cell integration with the human retina. The first employs bolus injections of RPE cell suspension under the retina and the second relies on prefabricated RPE stem cell sheets implanted in the subretinal space. Due to immune considerations, current hESC-RPE trials use immunosuppressant medications for a limited period up to, during, and after implantation. RPE stem cell grafts show great promise in restoring vision in patients with geographic atrophy due to AMD, as limited clinical trials in humans have already shown positive results, and more results are forthcoming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Ophthalmology Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science + Business Media New York.


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Stem cells


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