A Small Number of Patients With Fetal-Cell Transplants Are Thriving Two Decades Later.
Several patients with Parkinson’s disease who received brain-tissue transplants from fetuses in the early 1990s have needed little or no medicine to treat the disease ever since—an outcome virtually unheard of in the course of the disease, researchers have found.
The results are particularly striking because the treatment is controversial and has been questioned by some researchers in the field.
Bolstered by these promising cases, 14 European hospitals, research institutions and companies have launched a new, controversial trial on fetal-cell transplants, known as Transeuro. Funded with a $15 million grant by the European Union, surgeons in Cambridge, England, are expected to perform their first transplant on a trial participant by year’s end. It would be the first since the 1990s.