The ophthalmic surgeon who performs the first transplants in the United States has a plan.
Dr. Anthony C. Marrocco, who works at a local hospital in the Indianapolis area, has been researching the possibility of making transplantable eye tissue from human blood cells.
The procedure has a long history, but he’s hoping it will be feasible for the foreseeable future.
The procedure, which uses blood to make bone marrow and produces the blood cells that make new tissue, has already helped patients with cancer, heart disease, and glaucoma.
Now it could be the first step toward treating other types of cancer, including some that grow uncontrollably.
The blood cells are harvested from healthy people and then transplanted into the eyes of patients with melanoma.
Patients are then given a shot of chemotherapy and treated with drugs to kill off cancer cells.
A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt University, who have been working on the process, have tested a prototype of a new version of the technique.
It’s called “piggybacking,” and it involves harvesting a patient’s own blood from healthy donors and inserting it into the eye of a recipient, with a second injection to prevent the cells from growing into cancerous tissue.
The technique is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The researchers say they have shown that they can make about 3.5 million cells, which they call piggyback cells.
That’s enough to make enough tissue for about 200 patients.
“We’re not just talking about a couple of million cells.
We’re talking about trillions of cells, in fact,” said Dr. Marocco.
“So, it’s not that we’re just talking to a few patients.
It could be a million or more patients.
So, the total number of cells that could be made is huge.”
The researchers are currently testing the technique in mice.
The first clinical trials could begin this fall, but the process could be sped up if the FDA approves the treatment, which has the potential to save millions of lives.
“The process is very simple,” Dr. Murtaza Hasan, who directs the University at Buffalo School of Medicine’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, said in a statement.
“It involves taking the donor blood, removing the stem cells, then using a small amount of bone marrow from the donor to create a new donor body, and then extracting the donor cells into the recipient’s blood.
This donor blood is then injected into a mouse, and that mouse grows into a tumor.”
The new technique has the same drawbacks as other transplants, such as potential side effects, and doctors have to test the blood to be sure it doesn’t cause any side effects.
Dr Marrouco said he is already seeing positive results.
One patient he is working with has been completely cured of a type of glaucombosis, a form of cancer that affects the eyes and skin.
He hopes to make that person’s blood available to the medical community.
The process also carries a risk, Dr. Hasan said.
He said it could lead to more invasive surgery, which could be risky for people with the disease.
“I don’t want to give people too much hope,” Dr Hasan said, “but I would be very careful to take that risk when we do it.”
Follow Stories Like This Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.