KUAH researchers develop tech on stem cells for leukemia patients

Shim Hyun-tai  Published 2020.07.20  21:28  Updated 2020.07.20 21:28


A research team of Korea University Anam Hospital (KUAH) has recently succeeded and produced human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) tailored for acute leukemia patients, using a conditioned medium derived from the human placenta.

HiPSC refers to those made of undivided pluripotent stem cells that have undergone a reprogramming process by introducing dedifferentiation factors into human adult cells.

A research team led by Professor Kim Byung-soo at Korea University Anam Hospital has developed tech to make personalized stem cells for acute leukemia patients. (KUAH)

The research team, led by Professor Kim Byung-soo, developed the technology to increase reprogramming efficiency by more than 10-fold compared to the existing method for the first time in the world through decades of study.

The newly developed technology can produce 3,500-4,500 pluripotent stem cell colonies per 100,000 adult cells, while the conventional reprogramming technique can only result in about 300 to 400 colonies per 100,000 adult cells.

Besides, the research team significantly reduced the time required for reprogramming. The existing technique took more than three weeks for dedifferentiation, but the new technology allows it in a week.

The research team applied the new technology to produce iPSC tailored to patients with acute leukemia. It was recognized by the international Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry (hPSCreg).

The researchers also built a system that covers the entire process from collecting adult cells of patients with intractable diseases to manufacturing iPSC for a particular illness at University Hospitals where patients receive treatment.

“We have minimized the steps and time of cell therapy by securing both efficiency and economic effectiveness for producing hiPSC with conditioned medium derived from human placenta,” Professor Kim said. “We expect the technology to be a new driving force in overcoming intractable diseases and boosting related studies.”

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