Current status and prospects of clinical application of iPS-cells

induced pluripotent stem cellsThe creation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) undoubtedly can be considered one of the most significant discoveries of the twenty-first century in the field of cell technologies. For the discovery of the technology of creation of induced pluripotent stem cells, namely reprogramming of adult cells into a state similar to embryonic stem cells, which in this case are called iPS-cells, the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, and a British scientist John Gurdon were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize, in the category ” medicine and physiology”.

The possibility to create induced pluripotent stem cells opened up great prospects regarding tissue engineered organs, regenerative therapy of a number of serious diseases. This led to the emergence of the first biobanks of iPS-cells and initiation of the first clinical study, and a clinic on the iPS-cell treatment is planned to be opened in Japan until 2019. However, the clinical application of iPS-cells in the scientific world arises a lot of debates about the safety of this method of treatment. The main concerns about the methods of therapeutic application of iPS-cells are their genetic stability and the risk of malignancy, premature death, low rate of proliferation, ie, limited ability to divide.

In 2013, Japan allowed the first clinical study on the application of iPS-cells in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, which is an important cause of vision loss in patients of older age groups. The first patient in this clinical study in 2014 was successfully transplanted iPS-cells derived from her own skin cells. Then the clinical trial stopped recruiting patients for treatment due to safety concerns, but in 2016 a study is planned to be continued. Also, Kyoto University Hospital in Kobe announced in February 2015 the opening of the medical center for conducting clinical trials using iPS-cells by 2019. The building of the center for 30 beds started in February 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by September 2019.

Based on the data of Association of Cryobanks and the Complete 2015-16 Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Industry Report of Bioinformant.

Due to comments of the President of the Association of Cryobanks of cord blood stem cells and other human cells and tissues YV Gladkikh, MD, PhD: Discovery of iPS-cells is undoubtedly a very important event in cell biology and regenerative medicine and, according to specialists, iPS-cells will occupy a particular place among the therapeutic cell technologies. However, the testing and refinement of cultivation protocols and clinical application of iPS-cell will take many more years. Currently, cord blood stem cells are considered the most studied, safe and clinically effective cells, experience of the successful application of which counts almost 30 years. Also, researchers proved that the stem cells of umbilical cord blood are the most preferable cell material for the production of iPS-cells compared to other specialized cells of the adult organism.

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