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SCIENCE > Health

Gov’t to compile rules on anticancer drug treatment for elderly

The health ministry will draw up guidelines on treatment of elderly patients involving anticancer drugs as research has indicated such treatment may not be effective in prolonging the lives of patients aged 75 or older, ministry officials said Thursday.   Since aged cancer patients are susceptible to developing other health problems and deterioration of their ability to break down medicines,….Read more

  • April 27, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 3:05 p.m.
  • English Press

TV PROGRAMS > Close-up Gendai

Curing brain disorders with regenerative medicine

NHK’s “Close-up Gendai+” reported on new regenerative medicines being developed in Japan including drugs to repair cerebral infarction or brain damage and drugs to cure dementia. Although Japan has been criticized for making it difficult to gain approval for new drugs and prompting talented researchers and companies to go overseas, the trend has been changing since a law was enacted in 2014 to encourage the swift….Read more

  • April 20, 2017
  • , NHK
  • JMH Summary

SCIENCE > Health

MHLW to promote genomic medicine by designating hospitals to concentrate resources

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry announced on March 27 its plans to designate hospitals to practice cancer genomics, which is personalized according to each patient’s genetics. In the first discussion with experts held on the same day, it was decided that guidelines on the required functions and systems for these hospitals would be compiled by summer.

  • March 28, 2017
  • , Mainichi , p. 28
  • JMH Translation

SCIENCE > Health

First-ever retinal cell transplant from another person’s iPS cells performed in Japan

All papers wrote that a team of RIKEN and other institutions performed on Tuesday a pioneering transplant surgery on a patient suffering from a retinal degenerative disease that often leads to blindness by using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells grown from artificially derived stem cells taken from another person. Masayo Takahashi, a RIKEN researcher who heads the team, stated at….Read more

  • March 29, 2017
  • , All national papers
  • JMH Summary

SCIENCE > Health

Japan performs first transplant of donor iPS cells

OSAKA — Researchers transplanted induced pluripotent stem cells derived from donors into a patient in Kobe Tuesday, in the first such trial using cells not from the patient — an advance with hopeful implications for Japanese regenerative medicine.   Research institute Riken worked with the Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, as well as Kyoto University and other partners, to….Read more

  • March 29, 2017
  • , Nikkei Asian Review
  • English Press

SCIENCE > Health

Kyoto Univ. creates iPS cells for 231 intractable diseases

Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application announced that it has successfully produced iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) for 231 government-specified intractable diseases, accounting for roughly 80% of such diseases (total: 306).   The iPS cells were created from the blood of patients that have these diseases. The Center will provide research institutions with the iPS cells for use….Read more

  • March 10, 2017
  • , Yomiuri , p. 35
  • JMH Translation

SCIENCE > Health

SCJ draft report says genome editing not permissible in reproductive medicine

On March 3, a study group organized under the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) disclosed a draft report on genome editing, which concluded that at this time the technology should not be permitted for clinical application involving fertilized eggs and germ cells (human eggs and sperms). The group will finalize the details of the report this spring.   Last month,….Read more

  • March 4, 2017
  • , Asahi , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

SCIENCE > Health

Riken to open iPS drug development hub in 2018

Riken will establish a center for developing therapeutic drugs using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for severe neurological diseases. The government-backed research institute will team up with the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University (CiRA) to open the center in Kyoto in April 2018.   Expectations for applying iPS cells to the development of therapeutic drugs are….Read more

  • March 2, 2017
  • , Nikkei evening edition , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

SCIENCE > Health

Biosimilar drugs are not gaining popularity

When a patent expires on a biopharmaceutical, biosimilar drugs become available on the market. In spite of the lower prices of biosimilar drugs, they are not as widely used as the government hoped.The government wants  to put the brakes on ballooning national healthcare costs. Based on the Tokyo Shimbun’s estimate, biosimilar drugs currently account for only 1% of the market.   In general, patents on biotechnology-based drugs expire….Read more

  • February 23, 2017
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 7
  • JMH Translation

SCIENCE > Health

Genetics researchers develop less costly method of detecting breast cancer risk

A team of researchers at the National Institute of Genetics (Mishima City, Mie Prefecture) has developed a new testing method that can identify genetic abnormalities that increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer at a reduced cost. The team, led by Professor Itsuro Inoue who specializes in human genetics, has submitted a domestic patent application for the method. This information….Read more

  • February 12, 2017
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 28
  • JMH Translation
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