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Corneal Epithelium Repair and Therapy Using Autologous Limbal Stem Cell Transplantation

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02148016
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified May 2014 by Yizhi Liu, MD, PhD, Sun Yat-sen University.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : May 28, 2014
Last Update Posted : May 28, 2014
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Yizhi Liu, MD, PhD, Sun Yat-sen University

Brief Summary:
Corneal disease is a leading cause of blindness in the world. A shortage of corneal donor tissue has prevented many patients from regaining vision. Additionally, refractive error such as myopia is a major cause of impaired visual function worldwide. Although refractive error is correctable by procedures that modify the refractive power of the cornea, these procedures often weaken corneal integrity and have risk of complications. This study aims to evaluate the safety and efficacy of corneal surface epithelium repair and regeneration in the treatment of corneal surface diseases and refractive error using autologous limbal stem cell transplantation.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Corneal Disease Pterygium Myopia Hyperopia Procedure: LSCs and amniotic membrane (Modified Technique) Procedure: Amniotic membrane only (Traditional Technique) Procedure: PRK, LSCs, and amniotic membrane (Modified Technique) Procedure: PRK only (Traditional Technique) Drug: Levofloxacin Drug: Betamethasone Drug: Limbal stem cells (LSCs) Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

The corneal surface is comprised of a unique type of non-keratinized epithelial cell. These cells are arranged in an orderly fashion, which is essential for vision by maintaining the transparency of the visual axis.

Chemical injury and pterygia may damage the limbus, the zone between the cornea and the bulbar conjunctiva, and cause limbal stem cell (LSC) deficiency. They represent major treatable causes of vision loss worldwide. A shortage of corneal donor tissue prevents many patients from regaining vision, necessitating new treatment strategies to circumvent this limitation. Transplantation of stem cells represents an appealing therapeutic strategy in regenerative medicine, and the use of endogenous stem cells provides a possible solution to the problem of immune rejection.

Currently, LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is the most commonly performed laser vision correction procedure in the world (over 10 million surgeries each year); however, it has a major disadvantage in that it weakens corneal integrity and structure and predisposes to complications such as keratectasia or keratoconus (bulging of the cornea) and vision loss. An alternative is photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK), which removes the corneal epithelium and anterior stroma while minimizing the incidence of keratectasia or keratoconus. The primary drawbacks of PRK are that it requires a longer recovery time (the corneal epithelium must regenerate from the patient's own LSCs) and may result in blurry vision and pain due to corneal pain nerve fiber exposure after removal of the epithelium. Coverage of exposed corneal stroma tissue immediately after surgery with LSC-derived corneal epithelial cells will solve this key bottleneck and make laser eye surgery safer and more comfortable for millions of people.

It is known that corneal renewal and repair are mediated by stem cells in the limbus. Autologous LSC transplantation has been reported previously (Rama et al.). However, mouse feeder cells were required to expand LSCs in culture. We have successfully developed a feeder-free, chemically defined medium in which to expand LSCs. These expanded LSCs can repair and regenerate corneal surfaces (Ouyang et al., in press).

Hypothesis: The trial will demonstrate whether a new technique, transplantation of LSCs expanded from limbal tissue of the uninjured eye, can improve the visual function of patients with unilateral corneal ocular surface disease. In addition, it will show whether there is more rapid recovery and improved visual outcomes following PRK if expanded LSCs are used to cover the cornea. The study will also compare the incidence of complications and characterize visual outcomes in patients treated with the new technique versus the control technique.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Corneal Epithelium Repair and Therapy Using Autologous Limbal Stem Cell Transplantation
Study Start Date : December 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 2014
Estimated Study Completion Date : September 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: LSCs and amniotic membrane (Modified Technique)

Limbal stem cells (LSCs) from the contralateral eye will be harvested and expanded in feeder-free, chemically defined media for one week on a collagen-coated contact lens. The LSCs on contact lens will be transplanted onto a corneal surface in vivo, following removal of scar tissue due to chemical injury or pterygium. The contact lens will then be covered with amniotic membrane to secure it in place.

The eye will be treated with antibiotics (levofloxacin) and steroids (betamethasone), and then patched.

Procedure: LSCs and amniotic membrane (Modified Technique)

Limbal stem cells (LSCs) from the contralateral eye will be harvested and expanded in feeder-free, chemically defined media for one week on a collagen-coated contact lens. The LSCs on contact lens will be transplanted onto a corneal surface in vivo, following removal of scar tissue due to chemical injury or pterygium. The contact lens will then be covered with amniotic membrane to secure it in place.

The eye will be treated with antibiotics (levofloxacin) and steroids (betamethasone), and then patched.


Drug: Levofloxacin
Drug: Betamethasone
Active Comparator: Amniotic membrane only (Traditional Technique)
Amniotic membrane alone will be used to cover the corneal surface, after removal of scar tissue from a chemical injury or pterygium.
Procedure: Amniotic membrane only (Traditional Technique)
Amniotic membrane alone will be used to cover the corneal surface, after removal of scar tissue from a chemical injury or pterygium.

Experimental: PRK, LSCs, and amniotic membrane (Modified Technique)

Limbal stem cells (LSCs) from the contralateral eye will be harvested and expanded in feeder-free, chemically defined media for one week on a collagen-coated contact lens. The LSCs on contact lens will be transplanted onto a corneal surface in vivo, following photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK). The contact lens will then be covered with amniotic membrane to secure it in place.

The eye will be treated with antibiotics (levofloxacin) and steroids (betamethasone), and then patched.

Procedure: PRK, LSCs, and amniotic membrane (Modified Technique)

Limbal stem cells (LSCs) from the contralateral eye will be harvested and expanded in feeder-free, chemically defined media for one week on a collagen-coated contact lens. The LSCs on contact lens will be transplanted onto a corneal surface in vivo, following photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK). The contact lens will then be covered with amniotic membrane to secure it in place.

The eye will be treated with antibiotics (levofloxacin) and steroids (betamethasone), and then patched.


Drug: Levofloxacin
Drug: Betamethasone
Drug: Limbal stem cells (LSCs)
Active Comparator: PRK only (Traditional Technique)
PRK alone will be performed.
Procedure: PRK only (Traditional Technique)
PRK alone will be performed.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Composite measure of visual function in eyes treated for corneal ocular surface disease. [ Time Frame: up to 1 year ]
    Slitlamp examination, in addition to measurement of visual acuity and intraocular pressure.

  2. Composite measure of visual function in eyes after photo-refractive keratectomy (PRK) [ Time Frame: up to 1 year ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Incidence of transparency of the cornea [ Time Frame: up to 1 year ]
    Anterior segment photography and OCT as well as pentacam photography will be performed post treatment on day 1, week 1, week 2, month 1, month 3, month 6, and year 1, in order to assess transparency and curvature of the cornea.


Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Postoperative complications [ Time Frame: up to 1 year ]
    Slitlamp examination, anterior segment photography, anterior segment OCT, pentacam photography, in addition to measurement of visual acuity and intraocular pressure, will be performed post treatment on day 1, week 1, week 2, month 1, month 3, month 6, and year 1, in order to assess for any postoperative complications.



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Ages Eligible for Study:   10 Years to 70 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Monocular corneal chemical injury or pterygium, or refractive error greater than +/- 2D
  • Informed consent signed by patient or legal guardian

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with a history of corneal perforation or surgery
  • Patients with other eye diseases
  • Patients with a history of severe cardiovascular, liver, kidney, endocrine, and hematopoietic disease, diabetes, or immune deficiency disorders
  • Pregnant or lactating women
  • Patients who are participating in other clinical trials
  • Patients with a history of mental illness who are unable to give informed consent or follow up according to the study protocol.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02148016


Contacts
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Contact: Ying Lin, MD, PhD lylytulip@126.com

Locations
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China
Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University Recruiting
Guangzhou, China
Principal Investigator: Yizhi Liu, MD, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Sun Yat-sen University
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Yizhi Liu, MD, PhD Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University
Publications:

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Responsible Party: Yizhi Liu, MD, PhD, Professor, Sun Yat-sen University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02148016    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2013SKL005
First Posted: May 28, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 28, 2014
Last Verified: May 2014
Keywords provided by Yizhi Liu, MD, PhD, Sun Yat-sen University:
Corneal disorders
Chemical injury
Pterygium
Refractive error
Myopia
Hyperopia
Cornea
Monocular
Transparent
Transplantation
Visual function
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Myopia
Pterygium
Hyperopia
Corneal Diseases
Refractive Errors
Eye Diseases
Conjunctival Diseases
Levofloxacin
Ofloxacin
Betamethasone
Anti-Infective Agents, Urinary
Anti-Infective Agents
Renal Agents
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Topoisomerase II Inhibitors
Topoisomerase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antineoplastic Agents
Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 Inhibitors
Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Glucocorticoids
Hormones
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anti-Asthmatic Agents
Respiratory System Agents