World's First Transplantation of Retinal Cells from iPS Cells in Patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa October 16, 21:49

Kobe City's research group announced this month that it has performed the world's first surgery to transplant retinal cells made from iPS cells into a patient with a serious eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, which gradually loses light. Did.

This surgery was performed as a clinical study by a research group led by Yasuo Kurimoto, director of Kobe Eye Center Hospital in Kobe City.

Earlier this month, the group transplanted retinal cells called "photoreceptors" made from other people's iPS cells into the eyes of a woman in her 60s living in Kansai who suffers from the serious eye disease "retinitis pigmentosa". It means that he performed his first surgery.

In the surgery, three "photoreceptors" made from iPS cells were transplanted into sheets with a diameter of 1 mm and a thickness of 0.2 mm, so the surgery was completed in about 2 hours, and no abnormalities were seen after the surgery. It means that there is no such thing.

"Retinitis pigmentosa" is a disease in which light is gradually lost and may cause blindness as it progresses. It is estimated that there are about 30,000 patients in Japan, but there is no effective treatment so far.

The group says that the sheet transplanted this time is so small that it is difficult to significantly recover eyesight, but we hope to confirm the safety over the next year and establish it as a treatment method in the future.

"Major advances in central nervous system cell surgery"

At a press conference, Kurimoto Hospital director said, "The photoreceptor cells transplanted this time are cells of the central nervous system, and it has been said that they will not regenerate, not only as a treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, for which there was no cure so far. It is a big step forward in terms of cell surgery. Central nervous system regeneration has been a long-standing dream of many patients and medical professionals, and although it is only a small step, it is very emotional to be able to take it safely. " Did.

iPS cells Clinical research and clinical trials in various places

Regarding iPS cells, clinical research and clinical trials have begun at universities and research institutes around the country to confirm their safety and efficacy with the aim of putting them into practical use in regenerative medicine.

The world's first group that actually conducted clinical research in humans was the RIKEN in Kobe City.

In 2014, we transplanted eye retinal tissue made from iPS cells into a patient with a serious eye disease called "age-related macular degeneration" and conducted a clinical study to confirm its safety.

Similarly, regarding eye diseases, last year, a group such as Osaka University conducted a clinical study to transplant sheet-shaped corneal tissue made from iPS cells into patients with severe corneal diseases.

A group at Kyoto University is conducting a clinical trial to transplant cells that are the source of nerves made from iPS cells into the brain of patients with Parkinson's disease, and is aiming for approval as a new treatment method.

Another group at Kyoto University is conducting a clinical study to administer platelets made from iPS cells to patients with intractable blood diseases.

A group at Osaka University conducted a clinical trial of a "myocardial sheet," which is a sheet of heart muscle cells made from iPS cells, attached to the heart of a patient with severe heart disease.

In addition, a clinical study to inject heart muscle cells made from iPS cells from the Keio University group into the patient's heart was approved by a national subcommittee, and iPS cells from another group of Keio University patients with spinal cord injuries. Clinical research is also underway to transplant the cells that form the basis of nerves made from.