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Japan: World’s first human trial of spinal cord iPS stem cell therapy

Japan conducts world’s first human trial of spinal cord iPS stem cell therapy



Japan conducts world’s first human trial of spinal cord iPS stem cell therapy.

A few days ago, Keio University in Japan announced that it had successfully transplanted iPS stem cells into a spinal cord injury patient, the first human clinical trial of its kind.

For paralysis caused by severe spinal cord injury, millions of people worldwide are affected by the disease, but there is currently no effective treatment.

Surgeons at Keio University wanted to study whether induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) could be used to treat this spinal cord injury.

iPS cells work by stimulating mature, specialized cells to return to a stem cell state and then inducing them to redifferentiate into different types of cells. The technique was developed by Shinya Yamanaka and others at Kyoto University in Japan , for which he won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The patient’s cells are extracted for in vitro culture, and these cells are induced into various desired cells using iPS technology, and their replication ability can be used to repair damaged tissues or organs.

Researchers at Keio University used iPS-derived neural stem cells to treat severe spinal cord injuries.

Japan conducts world's first human trial of spinal cord iPS stem cell therapy.

In fact, the clinical trial was approved as early as 2019 before the trial was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is reported that the research team has transplanted more than 2 million iPS-derived neural stem cells into the spinal cord of patients with spinal cord injury during surgery last month.

This number of engrafted cells was determined based on previous animal experiments.

Masa Nakamura , a professor at Keio University who led the research, said it was definitely a big step forward for stem cell therapy .

There is still a lot of work to be done before the scope of treatment is too big, and the main goal of this study is to determine the safety of the transplant method.

Japan conducts world's first human trial of spinal cord iPS stem cell therapy.

An independent committee monitoring patients for up to three months has determined whether the trial can safely continue and whether others can be treated.

In addition, the research team also hopes to see whether stem cell therapy can improve the neurological function and quality of life of patients.

At present, the details of this patient are still confidential, and Nakamura ‘s team said that this trial of stem cell treatment of spinal cord injury will focus on people with spinal cord injury within 14-28 days.

Prior to this, in 2018, researchers at Kyoto University had used iPS cells to treat Parkinson’s disease. 2.4 million iPS cells were injected into the left side of the patient’s brain, and the patient was stable after surgery.

References :
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-01-japan-team-world-first-spinal-cord.html

Japan conducts world’s first human trial of spinal cord iPS stem cell therapy.

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