MIAMI-An unproven stem cell therapy that involves extracting a patient’s fat tissue and injecting it into the eyes has caused three US women to go blind, a report said Wednesday.

The women, aged between 72 and 88, were treated in Florida in 2015 for a progressive eye disease called macular degeneration, said the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

They thought they were enrolling in a legitimate clinical trial, having found it under the title: “Study to assess the safety and effects of cells injected intravitreal in dry macular degeneration” on ClinicalTrials.gov, the US government website for such research.

However, they immediately suffered complications, including retinal detachment and hemorrhage, which caused total loss of eyesight.

The clinic and patients involved were not named in the study, which was co-authored by Thomas Albini, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Miami.