Rebuilding the Eye Using Amniotic Membrane Grafts

Byline: Published in The American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2019;198:45-53

 

Since 1940, a single, thin layer of amniotic membrane graft (AMG) has often been used for repairing the cornea and conjunctiva. However, Dr. Finger says:

“our research shows that super-thick AMG (ST-AMG), up to ten times thicker than the prior AMG, is more effective for reconstruction of the eye’s surface.”

Research supported by The Eye Cancer Foundation has proved greater efficacy of this new  technique in recreating the outer surface of the eye and inner surface of the eyelids. As published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology on November 2018, tumors of the conjunctiva and eyelids were surgically removed, then amniotic membranes from donor human placentas were sewn into the defects to recreate a normal ocular and inner eyelid surface. 

Thus, amnion can provide a foundational platform for new cells to grow and flourish. In this case series, super thick amniotic membrane grafts (AMGs) were found to facilitate the healing of wounds.

How exactly does graft thickness affect the success of treatment? Well, the greater thickness means it is more easily sewn into the affected area, and

 also helps the grafts to remain several weeks after placement. Thicker grafts are less likely to tear, rupture, or dissolve during the postoperative period. Most importantly, following treatment with ST-AMG, every single patient retained their sight and found their wounds successfully healed.

Super-thick amniotic membrane grafts have proven benefits to their thinner counterpart, and perhaps its versatility hints at potential for greater medical applications in the near future.

 



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Click here to read the full research paper

Funding/Support for this study was provided by The Eye Cancer Foundation, Inc.

Click here to donate to further advancements in eye cancer research.


Rare Myxomas Discovered to Have Unique Ultrasound Results

What is a myxoma?

With a minuscule incidence of less than 0.005%, a myxoma is a staggeringly rare condition. Defined as noncancerous tumors of our connective tissue, myxomas present similarly to other, slightly more common conditions such as conjunctival lymphoma, lymphangioma, ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), or amelanotic melanoma. Consequently, they are usually misdiagnosed, or, at the very least, are difficult to diagnose.

 

Unique Ultrasound Findings!

Very limited literature exists describing cases and interventions of myxoma. In an effort to offset this shortage of research, The Eye Cancer Foundation sponsored a publication describing a myxoma case with unique ultrasonographic findings.

Other tumors of the conjunctiva often appear as a single, solid mass. Myxomas in particular present as smooth, yellow-pink masses on the eyeball, ranging in size from 4 mm to 20 mm. In this particular case under study, the patient’s myxoma showed scattered cells rather than a uniform image. So, while they are similar in many ways to other tumors, myxomas can have unique features that separate them from the others.

 

The Verdict…

Dr. Finger, Chairman of the ECF and Chief Researcher in this case study, concludes that:

“Though conjunctival myxomas can masquerade as various other conditions, high-frequency ultrasound proves myxomas have a distinct vascular pattern and no evidence of intraocular tumor invasion.”

 

 

Donate for Eye Cancer Research | Read the Full Case Report |  About Paul T. Finger, MD


Plant Compound As a Promising Eye Cancer Solution?

Miraculous medicinal herbs may no longer be considered alternative medicine. A natural plant derivative has recently shown promise as the basis of a lasting cure for malignant tumor growth, particularly in the progression of ocular melanoma.

Ocular melanoma progresses when certain proteins in the cells of our body become locked in an active state, overwhelming the body with unstoppable signaling cascades. As a result, relentless aggregates of cells called tumors begin to form. The critical problem with available treatment is that it seems nearly impossible to shut down this malfunction once it has begun. Thus there has been a dire need for the development of new cancer treatment options.

Perhaps that innovation is soon upon us––research at Washington University School of Medicine has lead to a remarkable discovery. Compound FR900359 (FR), derived from the primrose flower, has shown promising capability to halt the exponential growth that makes tumors so resilient and treatment-averse.

Researcher Micheal Onken, Ph.D., explains:

“In our study, we showed that the cancer-causing [protein] doesn’t have to be turned off by force. It just turns itself off every now and then on its own. But it then can be locked down with FR, and that’s enough to shut down tumor cell growth.”

So, this plant-derived compound does not work to shut down a single step in the signaling process for tumor growth. Rather, it targets and traps the corrupted protein in its inactive state. And, as an added bonus, this alternative method of action has shown potential for both killing ocular melanoma and reverting tumorous cells back to normal.

Our bodies are filled with proteins that can possibly mutate. In fact, other protein malfunctions have been known to be involved with various other diseases, such as diabetes, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and certain disorders of the thyroid. Knowing this, compound FR may prove to be a versatile ingredient in future pharmacological intervention.

 


 

For more information, read the full study here: [link]

Donate for further eye cancer research and help bring us closer to a cure: [DONATE]

To stay up-to-date on the latest news in eye cancer, please keep our website, www.eyecancer.com, in your bookmarks

 


References:

  1. https://source.wustl.edu/2018/09/scientists-identify-weak-point-in-deadly-eye-melanoma/
  2. https://www.futurity.org/eye-cancer-plant-compound-1860312/

 

 


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