幹細胞研究 -臨床応用への道は未だ遠いか

A Toronto scientist has made an important discovery about stem cells. He’s part of a Canadian led team of researchers who have unlocked the process in which stem cells are created. Kelly Crowe, with how the research could lead to new treatment or cures for a host of diseases.

トロントをベースにする科学者が幹細胞に関する重要な発見をしました。その科学者はカナダを代表する研究グループの一員で、幹細胞が作り出されるまでのプロセスを解明しました。Kelly Crowe氏は、今回の発見がどのように新しい治療や治癒へとつながっていく可能性があるのかをお伝えします。

As a scientist, Andras Nagy is having a very good day, with two papers published together in the prestigious journal Nature, both describing important discoveries in stem cell science.

Andras Nagy氏は科学者にとって栄えある一日を迎えています。2つの論文が権威ある専門誌Natureに掲載されたからです。両論文では幹細胞研究に関する重要な発見が述べらています。

It is basic science at its very best.


In his Toronto lab Nagy studies what happens when an adult cell is reprogrammed to become a stem cell which can may be coaxed to become any cell in the body.


What am I seeing here?


So these are the cells which have already started their journey back to stem cells, they started as a skin cell……


In today’s paper Nagy describes for the first time what’s happening at every stage of that journey.


This whole journey was just a black box. No one really knew what was happening there.


His second paper describes a whole new class of stem cells. It’s the latest in a long line of Canadian discoveries in a field that began in Toronto when James Till and Ernest McColough first discovered stem cells more than 50 years ago. For decades scientists have been studying them, hoping to use them to repair damaged tissue and organs. After decades of research the first human trials of stem cell therapies are just getting started, studies to see if stem cell treatments are safe and if they work.

Nagy氏の2つ目の論文では、全く新しいクラスの幹細胞が述べらています。長く続いてきたカナダ人のこの分野における発見で、最も新しい発見です。発見の歴史はトロントのJames Till氏とErnest MacClolorugh氏の発見から始まり、50年以上続いてきたものです。数十年間、科学者たちは研究を重ねてきました。(幹細胞を)病んだ組織や臓器の修復に使えないかとの望みを抱きながらの研究でした。数十年に渡る研究を経て、人を対象とした初めての幹細胞治療の臨床試験が今まさに始まろうとしています。試験は幹細胞治療の安全性と効果を確かめるためのものです。

At this point very few legitimate stem cell treatments have been approved for use on patients.


Health law researcher Tim Caulfield has been following the field and charting the hype.

医療関連の法律を専門とする研究者、Tim Caulfield氏はこの分野の行方を追い続けています。

You know, it's basic science, things are signalling towards some exiting developments but it's still early days. So when you see claims of that stem cell therapies are effective, you should be immediately suspicious.


Today's discoveries provide important information for researchers but neither discovery will effect human health, at least not yet.