The first clinical study using adult-derived stem cells with the aim of treating people with spinal cord injuries has begun in Japan, at Keio University.
The research team, led by Prof. Masaya Makamura, an orthopedic specialist, and Prof. Hideyuki Okano, a physiology specialist, will use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, in an effort to regenerate a damaged spinal cord in a year-long study.
“This is an exciting study,” says Duncan Wallace, Executive Director of SpinalCure, “as this is the first time iPS cells will be used with spinal cord injuries.”
“We’ll be keeping a close eye on the study results as, if successful, it could be a big step towards a cure for people with spinal cord injuries.”
“The only time stem cells have been trialled for spinal cord injury previously was controversial because it used embryonic-derived stem cells. This study is using cells which could be taken from anyone or indeed the patients themselves.”
IPS cells are created by reprogramming cells from body tissue to revert to an embryonic-like state, from which they can develop into other cell types such as nerve cells.
About 2 million cells will be transplanted into four patients whose spinal cords have been damaged in a traffic accident, fall or injury during exercise. The team will verify the safety and effectiveness of the treatment over a year.
Source: Japan News https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007531368