Keio University doctors use iPS-derived cells to treat spinal cord injury
Keio University researchers have successfully transplanted into a patient with a severe spinal cord injury two million neural progenitor cells derived from other people’s iPS cells as part of a clinical study, offering hope for the paralyzed.
The patient is doing well.
Over the next year, while the patient undergoes rehabilitation, the team of doctors will see how safe and effective the treatment is.
The treatment is designed for patients with “complete paralysis” who are within two to four weeks of sustaining a spinal cord injury, called the subacute phase.
The iPS cells used were stockpiled by Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application.
While rehabilitation is currently the only effective treatment for a spinal cord injury, the team believes that the transplanted cells could repair damaged neural circuits and create new tissue that can transmit signals from the brain.
The team plans to do the transplant into four more patients with spinal cord injuries.
While Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare approved this clinical trial in February 2019, the process of finding suitable patients was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.