By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cells may offer new hope for people losing their vision to age-related macular degeneration, but that promise can come with some peril, new research shows.
In one report, three older women were permanently blinded at a Florida eye clinic that performed unproven stem cell treatments on their eyes in 2015, said senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg. He's chair of ophthalmology for the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
The women all thought the stem cell therapy was part of a clinical trial, but there's no evidence that a genuine clinical trial was taking place, Goldberg noted.
"It appears the patients were lured in with the promise of a research protocol and it's not clear that they were actually signed up for any research," Goldberg said. "They were just injected with these cells of some sort."
The women, aged 72 to 88, each paid $5,000 for the procedure, which should have been a red flag, Goldberg said.