Japanese Researchers Will Use Stem Cells to Treat Spinal Cord Injuries in Groundbreaking Clinical...
There could a new form of treatment in Japan for spinal cord injuries if a newly-approved clinical trial hits the mark.
On Monday, a special committee of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan approved a clinical research program at Tokyo’s Keio University to use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to treat spinal cord injuries. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, this is a groundbreaking first-of-its-kind study. The clinical trial is expected to begin this summer.
A recent study shows embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells are virtually identical. Human IPS cells were first produced in 2006 from mouse cells and in 2007 from human cells. Since then, scientists believed human IPS cells were equivalent to embryonic stem cells.
“In this study, we applied very cutting edge proteomic technologies to look at all the proteins or a very large percentage of them (in both types of cells) and we compared many cell lines, and what we found was that the protein levels are very similar in the two cell types,” said lead researcher Josh Coon, an associate professor of chemistry and biomolecular chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as quoted by Medical News Today.