Have Questions? Call Us Toll Free (877) 880-5251

Encapsulated cell therapy benefits geographic atrophy patients

Currently, there is no effective surgical treatment for dry macular degeneration or GA and researchers hope this procedure could bring about a long-term treatment of dry macular degeneration by using a simple surgical procedure. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science details the benefits of using a neurotrophic factor to treat geographic atrophy (GA). Researchers discovered that long-term delivery of ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) allowed the re-nourishment of the retina and halted or slowed the loss of visual acuity caused by GA. The phase 2 clinical trial involved 27 GA patients who received high-dose CNTF using encapsulated cell therapy (ECT). A control group of 24 patients received a sham surgery or a low-dose of CNTF. CNTF works by affecting the survival and differentiation of cells in the nervous system and this includes retinal cells. Prior research has demonstrated that CNTF slows down the loss of photoreceptor cells in animals with retinal degeneration. The capsule which was implanted in the back of the patient’s eye continued to produce CNTF over a 12-month period. All but one of the patients treated with the high dose of CNTF maintained stabilized vision compared to only 75% of the patients in the bogus treatment group. The high dose patients also showed an increase in retinal thickness as early as four months after the implant. While these new and promising therapies for dry macular degeneration continue to be explored, it is vitally important to continue proven measures to improve retinal structure and function with high dose vitamin therapy, such as VisiVite. Elise Ervin Staff Writer

Search VisiVite