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April 1989

Release of Scientific Information to the News Media-Reply

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(4):485-486. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010499004

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In Reply.  —Drs Slusher and O'Steen have misunderstood the intentions of my editorial, which addressed the issue of the potential consequences resulting from premature speculation as to the application of preliminary laboratory advances to human disorders. The editorial makes no "pointed allegation," but rather intends to stimulate the readership to exercise a note of caution and concern when interpreting the consequences and application of research that is communicated initially or primarily through the lay press.The editorial was occasioned by an article in The New York Times (September 25, 1988, p 13) that highlighted findings on the transplantation of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells as a means of "treating" retinal degeneration in the RCS rat. Even a casual reader of the article would immediately grasp the intended message that a major breakthrough had occurred, with likely implications for human patients with macular degeneration and possibly also those with retinitis pigmentosa.

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