Strategy shift: Stem cell research uses donor cells to cut tumor risks

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Scientists can create [induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells] from any cell in the body. [But while they]…can be “reprogrammed” to become any type of cell, from skin to liver to nerve cells,…[iPS cells] can also give rise to potentially dangerous mutations, possibly including ones that lead to cancerous tumors. Thus, iPS cells are a double-edged sword…But now Japanese researchers are trying a different approach.

When Kyoto University researcher Shinya Yamanaka announced in 2006 that his lab had created iPS cells from mouse skin cells for the first time, biologists were stunned…A decade after the Yamanaka team’s groundbreaking discoveries, however, iPS cells have retreated from the headlines.

All eyes, however, are back on Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, which is resuming its retina trial—this time with iPS cells from donors instead of cells from patients themselves. Using the Cell Research and Application (CiRA)’s bank of iPS cells, there are significant time and cost savings—it could be one fifth the cost of cell preparation and patient transplant or less.

“Regenerative medicine and drug discovery are the two key applications for iPS cells,” Yamanaka says. “With the use of iPS cell stock, we are now able to work quicker and cheaper, so that’s the challenge going forward.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Waiting to Reprogram Your Cells? Don’t Hold Your Breath