Woman Receives First Stem Cell Therapy Using Her Own Skin Cells

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan surgically transplanted a sheet of retinal pigment cells into the eye of a 70-year old woman with macular degeneration.

The cells are the first induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, given to a human patient. They were made by Masayo Takahashi, who grew them from the patient’s own skin cells, which were treated with four genetic factors to revert back to an embryonic-like state. Takahashi then soaked the cells with the appropriate growth factors and other compounds so they developed into retinal pigment cells.

It’s not known whether the cells will continue to grow and form abnormal tumors, or whether they will migrate to other parts of the body. But now that the first patient has received them, those questions – and more, about the effectiveness of stem cell therapy – might be answered soon.

for more info:  http://time.com/3340766/stem-cell-therapy-skin-cells/

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