After a successful treatment of an age-related macular degeneration patient by transplanting some of her own cells, Japan's Riken Institute said it plans to conduct a trial of transplanting cells from a stockpile of unrelated donors.
The treatment last year was with cells taken from the patient to become induced pluripotent stem cells and grown into shell sheets that were transplanted back into the patient. The drive to use cells from other people stems from that method's cost, as much as $820,000.
If stockpiled donor cells could be turned into iPS ones for the same cure, the scientists surmised, the expense could be reduced not only to just 10% of that amount, the preparation time would be reduced from nearly a year to half that.
The researchers said that by drawing on the institute's own stockpile, enough iPS cells could be created at the same time to transplant into dozens of patients.
- here's the story from Nikkei