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  • American Academy of Ophthalmology Statement on Stem-Cell Therapy for Treating Eye Disease

    SAN FRANCISCO – A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine highlights concerns that the American Academy of Ophthalmology has previously expressed regarding stem cell therapy for diseases of the retina. 

    In June 2016 the Academy issued clinical guidance that covers the appropriate use of stem cell therapy in eye care. An article co-authored by the Academy’s chief executive officer in the November issue of the Academy’s journal Ophthalmology highlights the dangers of unapproved trials, the need for appropriate oversight and the risk to patients looking for a transformative cure. 

    The Academy has called on both the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take steps to better ensure public safety associated with treatments outside of FDA-approved clinical trials. Good research is being performed under FDA-approved trials by innovative clinician-scientists; tragedy associated with non-approved used of stem cells threatens the conduct and impact of this high-quality science.

    The public and patients can learn more about stem cells and eye care by visiting the Academy’s EyeSmart® public education website. EyeSmart is the leading online source for ophthalmic information. The content is written and approved by Academy member eye physicians and surgeons.

    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit