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Japan OKs world’s first iPS stemcell clinical trial Read more: Japan OKs world’s first iPS stemcell clinical trial – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/japan-oks-world-s-first-ips-stemcell-clinical-trial

English: A diagram illustrating the disctincti...

English: A diagram illustrating the disctinction between cancer stem cell targeted (above) and conventional (below) cancer therapies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Stem Cell Therapy (dog) - Thérapie par transpl...

Stem Cell Therapy (dog) – Thérapie par transplantation (chien) (Photo credit: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca)

 

AMD

AMD (Photo credit: Majiscup – The Papercup & Sleeve)

 

English: Fat Stem Cells

English: Fat Stem Cells (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Stem cell division and differentiation

Stem cell division and differentiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatm...

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatment is promising or emerging. (See Wikipedia:Stem cell#Treatments). Bone marrow transplantation is, as of 2009, the only established use of stem cells. Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Stem Cell Week 2012

Stem Cell Week 2012 (Photo credit: UC Irvine)

 

Diagram of stem cell division and differentiat...

Diagram of stem cell division and differentiation. A – stem cell; B – progenitor cell; C – differentiated cell; 1 – symmetric stem cell division; 2 – asymmetric stem cell division; 3 – progenitor division; 4 – terminal differentiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Embryonic Stem Cells. (A) shows hESCs...

English: Embryonic Stem Cells. (A) shows hESCs. (B) shows neurons derived from hESCs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The same view with age-related macular degener...

The same view with age-related macular degeneration (B&W). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Image representing AMD as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

 

clinical trials forum university of maryland b...

clinical trials forum university of maryland bio park techninical trials forum university of maryland bio park (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

 

Newspaper advertisements seeking patients and ...

Newspaper advertisements seeking patients and healthy volunteers to participate in clinical trials. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Mouse embryonic stem cells. More lab photos

Mouse embryonic stem cells. More lab photos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: This table summarizes the key strateg...

English: This table summarizes the key strategies and techniques used to develop iPS cells over the past half-decade. Rows of similar colors represents studies that used similar strategies for reprogramming. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

organ regeneration example from induced plurip...

organ regeneration example from induced pluripotent stem cells(iPS cell) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

clinical trial capsules

clinical trial capsules (Photo credit: Esthr)

 

Clinical trials 05

Clinical trials 05 (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

 

A scheme of the generation of induced pluripot...

A scheme of the generation of induced pluripotent stern (iPS) cells. (1)Isolate and culture donor cells. (2)Transfect stern cell-associated genes into the cells by viral vectors. Red cells indicate the cells expressing the exogenous genes. (3)Harvest and culture the cells according to ES cell culture, using mitotically inactivated feeder cells (lightgray). (4)A small subset of the transfected cells become iPS cells and generate ES-like colonies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

TOKYO: Japan has given the green light to the world’s first clinical trial using stem cells harvested from a patient’s own body, officials said Thursday, testing a treatment that may offer hope to millions of people robbed of their sight.

 

A government committee approved proposals for tests aimed at treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common medical condition that causes blindness in older people, using “induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells”, a health ministry official said.

 

The trial treatment will try to create retinal cells that can be transplanted into the eyes of patients suffering from AMD, replacing the damaged part of the eye.

 

AMD, a condition that is incurable at present, affects mostly middle-aged and older people and can lead to blindness. It afflicts around 700,000 people in Japan alone.

 

Stem cell research is a pioneering field that has excited many in the scientific community with the potential they believe it offers.

 

A China-based research group on Wednesday said they were hoping for regulatory approval to test stemcell therapy on spinal cord injuries they believe can help immobile people walk again.

 

Stem cells are infant cells that can develop into any part of the body.

 

Until the discovery of iPS cells several years ago, the only way to obtain stem cells was to harvest them from human embryos.

 

This is controversial because it requires the destruction of the embryo, a process to which religious conservatives, among others, object.

 

Groundbreaking work done in 2006 by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University, a Nobel Laureate in medicine last year, succeeded in generating stem cells from adult skin tissue.

 

Like embryonic stem cells, iPS cells are also capable of developing into any cell in the body, but crucially their source material is readily available.

 

Following the government approval, the Riken Center for Developmental Biology will start the world’s first clinical trial using iPS cells as soon as next summer, a Riken spokesman said.

 

Riken will recruit six patients suffering from AMD, all aged at least 50 years, and take cells from their skin.

 

These cells will be genetically reprogrammed to become iPS cells. The infant cells will then be nudged in the direction of developing into retina cells.

 

Once a network of retina cells has been developed — a process that could take around 10 months — this can be transplanted into the patient’s eye, the spokesman said.

 

Patients will be monitored over the next four years to determine how well the implants have performed, whether the body has accepted them and if they have become cancerous.

 

“Because no one in the world has used iPS cells in a clinical trial, what we are doing will set the standard,” research leader Masayo Takahashi told the Mainichi, a daily paper.

 

“It’s a daunting prospect, but one that brings joy.” She said she expects that patients in the initial trial will see only a very modest improvement in their sight.

 

“We don’t want people to have excessive expectations,” she said.

 

Kanji Takahashi, chief ophthalmologist at Kansai Medical University Hirokata hospital, told AFP the trial was a positive step, but not a done deal.

 

He said current treatment regimes include monthly drug injections directly into the eyes of AMD sufferers, at a cost of 150,000-170,000 yen ($1,500-$1,700) per injection.

 

“Improving the eyesight of AMD patients is a difficult task, and what’s important is whether transplanting cells improves vision,” he said.

 

“The trial is a hope for AMD patients, but it will probably take years before the new treatment will actually contribute to improving the vision of  many people.” — AFP

 

 

 

 
Read more: Japan OKs world’s first iPS stemcell clinical trial – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/japan-oks-world-s-first-ips-stemcell-clinical-trial-1.308714#ixzz2XQ5nNwuc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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