[AI] Stem Cells Theraphy.

P. Subramani subramani6912 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 1 02:28:54 EDT 2007

Limbal stem cells being injected in the cornea to cure eye defects

Stem Cell: The Body As Clinic

The therapy may hold the cure for many dreaded ills

by: Srinavasraju, Sugata


When the patch on six-year-old Sumaiya Aziza's left eye was removed, her reaction, and of her parents, was like a frame out of a Bollywood scene. The tears,
the joy, the incredulity, and the words, "Baba, I can see."

Aziza's eye was damaged when a packet of wet lime or chuna had exploded into her eyes as she was playing with it at her home near Dhaka. Having run out
of hope in Bangladesh, her parents had come to the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in Hyderabad in August 2001. A special form of cornea transplant was
performed on her damaged eye. It was a historic first in India: it's called stem cell therapy.

Dr Virendra Sangwan simply took a small piece of limbus (border of cornea) from Aziza's healthy right eye, cultured it on an amniotic membrane in the lab
and after 11 days put it back into her wounded left eye.

The techniques he used were "indigenous, innovative and low-tech". By 2004, when President A.P. J. Abdul Kalam visited the eye institute, Aziza had near-normal
vision with her glasses. Kalam was so impressed that he later invited a senior surgeon of the hospital, Dr Taraprasad Das, now working on retina reconstruction
with stem cells, to join him on his

But the claims made by the votaries of umbilical cord SCT are debunked by many doctors. They question the shelf-life of extracted stem cells and the diseases
they can be used to treat.

East Asia tour to speak of India's stem cell success story.

The latest such case of corneal transplant is of Kuldeep Singh, the heroic bus driver who saved hundreds of lives by throwing out a bomb planted in his
bus when the October 2005 Delhi blasts took place. Dr Sangwan and his hospital have by now performed the highest number of adult limbal stem cell transplants
in the world-close to 450. "Even after so many cases we consider the process as an extended trial. Our success rate has been about 72 per cent," says pathologist
Dr Geeta Vemuganti, who has done pioneering research on stem cells.

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