Professor Kenichiro Kosai of Kagoshima University has developed a method to remove only cells that may become cancerous when differentiating iPS cells, so-called pluripotent cells, into various cells. While iPS cells can differentiate into any cell in the body, it is also a problem that they can be transformed into cancer cells.Until now, it was considered difficult to transplant to humans because there is a risk of cancer even if organs and tissues are regenerated.
Professor Kojo and his colleagues were originally researching ways to kill cancer cells using viruses.Research on cancer treatment using viruses has been widely conducted, but the previous methods are safe but do not have sufficient therapeutic effect, and the ability to kill cancer cells is high but normal. It was not something that could be used for actual treatment, such as something that killed even cells.Therefore, Professor Kojo's group focused on survivin, a gene that works specifically in most cancer cells.By genetic modification, we developed a virus that proliferates only in cells in which survival is working and kills those cells.We were also able to confirm the effect of efficiently killing only cancer cells through animal experiments.In this study, we applied this method to iPS cells that may become cancerous.As a result of attaching this virus to iPS cells, it was confirmed that only the cells that cause cancer were killed and normal cells were intact.
If it becomes possible to generate a part of the lost body from iPS cells and transplant it with less risk, the day when it will be possible to regenerate in the true sense will be near.I have covered research on iPS cells in a recent article, but since the announcement of the method for producing iPS cells in 2007, research has been progressing rapidly.Regenerative medicine, which was a dream story only in science fiction until only eight years ago, is now being researched for realization.
Source:[Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kagoshima University] Research on regenerative medicine using ES / iPS cells and direct programming