Japanese team conducts world’s first spinal cord stem cell trial

Researchers at Keio University in Tokyo want to investigate whether induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used to treat injuries.

A Japanese university said on Friday in its first clinical trial of its kind that it had succeeded in transplanting stem cells into a spinal cord injured patient.

There is currently no effective cure for severe paralysis. spinal cord injuryMore than 100,000 people are believed to be affected in Japan alone.

Surgeons from Keio University in Tokyo want to investigate whether induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used to treat damage.

iPS cells are created by stimulating mature, already specialized cells to revert to an immature state.

Later, Keio University’s research with iPS-derived nerve stem cells encouraged them to mature into different cell types.

In the first step of the study, more than 2 million iPS-derived cells were transplanted into patient cells. spinal cord Operated last month.

“This is definitely a big step forward,” Professor Masaya Nakamura of Keio University, who is leading the research, told reporters.

But before applying the treatment, he added, “There’s work to be done.”

The researchers said the early stages of the study aimed to confirm the safety of the transplant method.

Patients will be monitored by an independent committee for up to 3 months to determine if it is safe to continue the study and if others can receive a transplant.

The team also wants to see if stem cell implants improve nerve function and quality of life.

The university received government approval in 2019, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, recruitment was temporarily suspended.

Patient details remain secret, but the team is focused on the injured 14 to 28 days before surgery.

The number of cells transplanted will be determined after safety experiments on animals, and while the researchers monitor the therapeutic effect, the main aim of the study is to examine the safety of injecting cells. I warned.


Japanese study on stem cell treatment of spinal cord injuries


© 2022 AFP

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