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Japan approves use of iPS cells to treat spinal cord injuries

Keio University scientists to begin world's first clinical study by this summer

The research by Keio University scientists holds out the hope of restoring movement in victims of spinal cord injuries -- for which there is no cure at present.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry on Monday approved the use of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to treat spinal cord injuries, in what will be the world's first research of its kind. 

The special committee of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approved a clinical research program at Keio University in Tokyo, in which iPS cells will be used to treat spinal cord injuries. The study is expected to start as early as this summer. 

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