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iPS研究 再生医療実用化へ支援充実を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 11, 2013)
Provide more govt support for practical use of iPS cells
iPS研究 再生医療実用化へ支援充実を(1月10日付・読売社説)

The ultimate goal of medicine is to completely heal disease and injuries. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can be grown into different body cells, could become a pivotal technology that helps achieve this goal.
 医学の究極目標は、病気やケガを根本から治療することである。
 その要の技術となり得るのが、様々な細胞に変化できるiPS細胞(人工多能性幹細胞)だ。

The functions of organs needing treatment could be restored if iPS cells made from the patient's skin cells are grown into those of the organs and then implanted in the patient's own body. Patients would have no risk of rejecting the organ because the injected cells are from their body. We hope such treatment--which once seemed like the stuff of dreams--will be put into practical use.
 患者の皮膚細胞から作り出したiPS細胞を治療対象の臓器の細胞に育てて移植すれば、臓器の機能は再生できる。元は患者の細胞なので拒絶反応はない。夢のような治療の実現を期待したい。

Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka, the creator of iPS cells, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine last year. Japan is among the leading nations in the basic research of regenerative medicine.
 iPS細胞を生み出した京都大学の山中伸弥教授が昨年、ノーベル生理学・医学賞を受賞した。日本は、再生医療の基礎研究で世界の先頭集団にいる。

The government's recent announcement that it will help beef up iPS research must be music to the ears of many patients. The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has revised its road map on iPS cell research and development, moving up the previous schedule and now aiming to establish treatment methods for patients with nerve damage within five years, among other targets.
 政府がiPS細胞の研究を加速する方針を打ち出したことは、多くの患者に朗報だろう。
 文部科学省は、研究開発のロードマップを改定した。従来の計画を前倒しして、神経損傷患者の治療を5年以内に実現するなどの目標を掲げた。

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Fierce competition

A supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending in March, which the government will endorse next week, is expected to feature measures for improving research facilities and supporting studies by universities and companies. The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry has reportedly been examining how it can help develop related industries.
 政府が来週決める今年度補正予算案にも、研究施設の整備や、企業や大学への支援策を盛り込む方針だ。経済産業省は、関連産業の育成策などを検討中という。

International competition to put iPS technology into practical use is fierce. The United States, which regards iPS cells as a priority field in bioscience research, allocates a huge budget for research and development in this area. In European nations, the business and academic sectors have been rapidly accelerating their joint projects. Japan must not be left behind in this race. It should revitalize its medical industry by putting innovative medical technology into practical use.
 実用化を目指す国際競争は激烈だ。米国は、iPS細胞を生命科学研究の重点に位置づけ、巨額の研究開発予算を投じている。欧州でも、産学による研究開発が急速に拡大している。
 日本も遅れてはならない。革新的な医療技術の実用化により、医療産業の活性化につなげることが求められる。

Massive investments are needed for research and development of medical science and treatments. It is vital for the government to provide continuing support to these fields as researchers inevitably go through failures before achieving success and putting their studies to practical use. A framework also should be established promptly to encourage companies and universities to take on bold challenges in these fields.
 医学、医療の研究開発には巨額の投資が必要だ。実用化までには試行錯誤は避けられず、政府の継続的な支援が欠かせない。
 企業や大学が果敢に挑めるような体制の構築も急ぎたい。

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Cancer fears

Some observers have voiced fears about the safety of iPS cells, saying they might turn cancerous when used for treatment. However, there are signs this concern could be resolved, as Yamanaka and other researchers have developed technology to eliminate factors that could turn iPS cells cancerous.
 iPS細胞については、実際に治療に使うと、がん化する恐れがあるとして、安全面での課題を指摘する声もある。この点については、がん化する要因をなくす技術を山中教授らが開発し、解決への道筋は見えてきた。

The Riken national research institute will start clinical research on retinal treatment using iPS cells by the end of this year, which will be the nation's first clinical application involving such cells. Kyoto University, meanwhile, plans to create a bank to stock frozen iPS cells made from cells from a number of people. We hope these institutions will speed up their research.
 理化学研究所は年内にも、iPS細胞による網膜治療の臨床研究に乗り出す。国内の臨床応用は初めてだ。京大は、多数の人のiPS細胞を作って凍結保存する「ストック計画」も予定している。研究を加速してもらいたい。

The biggest issue is surely how clinical research--which is conducted to ensure a treatment under development is safe and effective--can be streamlined. Japan's clinical research system has been criticized for taking far longer to approve research results than those of other countries.
 最大の問題は、安全性、有効性を確かめる臨床試験をどう効率化するかだろう。日本の臨床試験は海外に比べ、承認に年月がかかると批判されている。

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry should knuckle down to the task of improving the clinical research system.
 厚生労働省は、臨床試験制度の改善に本腰を入れるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 10, 2013)
(2013年1月10日01時21分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-01-12 06:22 | 英字新聞

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