What is regenerative medicine?


It is a cutting-edge medical treatment that boosts the body’s ability to regenerate by replenishing the stem cells that diminish with age.

In 2012, the words “regenerative medicine” and “stem cells” became widely known to the public after Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells).

iPS cells are “miracle” pluripotent stem cells that are artificially created by introducing genes into skin cells. They can be the source of any tissue or organ.
However, due to the risk of cell carcinogenesis, there are considerable obstacles to practical application.

When you hear this, it may seem like the realization of stem cell-based regenerative medicine is still a long way off.

However, not all stem cells are special like the iPS cells.
In fact, stem cells have always been present in our bodies and are essential for life.

Stem cells, which are so familiar to us, are now playing a leading role in regenerative medicine.

【What is a stem cell?】

Our body is made up of 37 trillion cells of about 200 different types.
The source of these 37 trillion cells is the『幹細胞 Kansaibo, (stem cell)』.

As the Chinese character for “stem”(幹) is used, stem cells, just like tree trunks that branches off, have the ability to differentiate into cells that form all tissues and organs of the body (differentiation ability). They also retain the ability to divide into stem cells with the same ability (self-renewal ability).

The reason we heal from cuts and broken bones is because our stem cells create the cells that become our skin and bones.

Regenerative medicine is the most advanced form of medical treatment that maximizes the regenerative capacity of humans by replenishing the body with these stem cells to regenerate tissues and organs that have been lost or damaged due to disease, accidents or aging, leading to recovery.

【Stem cells peak during the neonatal period and are rapidly declining.】

The lifespan of stem cells is said to be 120 years.
This is why it is theoretically said that a human being can live to be 120 years old.

However, some cells that differentiate from stem cells have a short lifespan.
For example, a skin cell divides about 60 times and has a lifespan of about a month.

Cells that have reached the end of their life span die and new cells are born in their place.
Stem cells in our bodies replenish dead cells through self-renewal and differentiation into new cells.

However, there is one major problem here.

Stem cells are most abundant during the fetal and neonatal period, and after that, they decrease steadily as we age.

As for the rate of decrease, if the amount of stem cells in the neonatal period is considered as 100%, it reduces down to 90% by the age of 18.

At age 40, the number of stem cells in relation to the total number of cells drops to 1 in 25, 1 in 40 at age 50, and only 1 in 200 at age 80.

The true nature of aging was the loss of stem cells!

Grabowski, G. and Robertson, R.N., 2013. Bone allograft with mesenchy- mal stem cells:
 a critical review of the literature. Hard Tissue, 2(2), p.20.

Children heal quickly after being injured, mostly thanks to the availability of stem cells.
The high number of stem cells is also responsible for the firmness and freshness of baby’s skin.

In other words, aging means that the supply of cells by stem cells and the replenishment by the division of stem cells themselves cannot keep up with the death of the cells.

As we age, we become more susceptible to life-threatening diseases because our cells are slow to regenerate and repair.

However, recent developments in medical technology have made it possible to safely introduce stem cells into the body.

You can replenish what you’ve lost with stem cells.
That is stem cell replacement therapy, which is the current mainstay of regenerative medicine.

Regenerative medicine not only rejuvenates, but also repairs damaged tissues in the body. It aims at preventing and treating disease by supplementing stem cells, which diminish with age.

[Types of stem cells]
Stem cells can mainly be divided into three types, based on their origin and capabilities.

1. ES cells (embryonic stem cells)

Stem cells are extracted from a portion of a human embryo five to seven days after fertilization and cultivated under special conditions.

These are called “pluripotent cells” because they can differentiate into almost all tissues and have a high proliferative capacity that allows them to multiply almost infinitely.

However, culturing ES cells has been pointed out as an ethical issue because it means sacrificing a fertilized egg, which is the sprout of human life.
Additional challenges include rejection during transplantation and the risk of cancer due to infinite growth.

2. adult stem cells (somatic stem cells, tissue stem cells)

These cells, present in our body tissues, has a certain degree of multipotency and plays a role in repairing damaged tissues and organs.

Adult stem cells include “hematopoietic stem cells” that differentiate into blood cells, “neural stem cells” that differentiate into neurons, and “mesenchymal stem cells” that differentiate into bones, blood vessels, myocardium, cartilage, and fat.

Among them, mesenchymal stem cells, which play a role in healing cuts and fractures, have become the mainstay of regenerative medicine due to their safety, efficacy, and ease of cultivation.

3. iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells)

In 2006, Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University succeeded in artificially producing pluripotent stem cells that resemble ES cells in an experiment using mice.
The following year, in 2007, he succeeded in culturing iPS cells using human cells.

It has attracted the world’s attention because it does not involve the ethical problems that ES cells do.
Although research has been carried out in Japan with great national prestige, application to regenerative medicine has been difficult due to the risk of cancer and high cost. Major challenges remain before its widespread use.

Types of stem cellsES CellsAdult Stem Cells iPS Cells
OriginEmbryo of a fertilized egg Present in the bodyArtificially created from somatic
What about pluripotent differentiation into cells?
What about the ethical issues?×
What about the risk of rejection?
What are the medical issues?There is a risk of turning into cancer. Advanced technology is required to maintain proliferation and activation.There is a risk of turning into cancer.

【What are mesenchymal stem cells, the mainstay of regenerative medicine?】

Among adult stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are the mainstay of regenerative medicine.

Mesenchymal stem cells are stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into the cells that make up connective tissues (mesenchymal cells), such as bone, cartilage, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, and fat.

Mesenchymal stem cells can be obtained from a variety of tissues, including bone marrow, fat, placenta, umbilical cord (umbilical cord), and dental pulp.

In regenerative medicine, the following two methods are currently being used;

◎ Stem cells(Autologous cells) harvested from one’s own fat or bone marrow are cultured and returned back to one’s own body,

Stem cells (Allogeneic cells) harvested from other people’s bone marrow, umbilical cords, fat, or dental pulp are cultured and placed into the patient’s body.

Autologous cells are expensive because they are custom-made cultures. Furthermore, the cells themselves are old with low regenerative capacity because they are cultured from the patients’ own cells.

On the other hand, Allogeneic cells are inexpensive because they can be mass-produced to a certain extent. Also, stem cells with high regenerative capacity donated by younger donors can be used.

Of course, since you are putting someone else’s stem cells into your body, it is a major prerequisite that you use one that is free of rejection agents and has an established safety profile.

Unfortunately, regenerative medicine using other types of cells is not allowed in Japan.
Treatment with autologous cells is also very limited.

However, here in Malaysia, regenerative medicine using other cell types has been legally recognized and is highly effective.

【The effects of stem cells and regenerative medicine】

The reason regenerative medicine is attracting so much attention is because it is believed to have the potential to cure diseases and injuries that are difficult to treat with conventional surgery and drugs.

Examples include stroke, spinal cord injury, severe heart failure, liver cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and many more.

In regenerative medicine, stem cells are transplanted into the patient and is used to regenerate and treat the patient from the cellular level.

In other words, the stem cells themselves become the medicine.

Just as conventional drugs are manufactured under very strict regulations, the production (culture) of stem cells, the mainstay of regenerative medicine, must be strictly controlled and safe.

In Malaysia, you can receive treatments using a variety of mesenchymal stem cells, including those derived from the bone marrow, umbilical cord, fat, and dental pulp.

Among them, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hereinafter referred to as “bone marrow stem cells“) are characterized by their outstanding regenerative capacity.

Because bone marrow stem cells are very primitive, they are rejection-free.

In addition, the bone marrow stem cell “KINTARO Cells®︎” introduced on this website have the following advantages:

◎Use of bone marrow stem cells with high regenerative capacity donated by young donors in their 20s.
◎Single donor with a clear source
◎Using a patented technology developed by a Japanese manufacturer, the product is cultivated in a clean room for pharmaceutical production.
◎Joint research with the Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University. Quality inspections are conducted every three months at the university.

Our services provide a safe, cutting-edge stem-cell treatment that cannot be done elsewhere!
・What are the benefits of bone marrow stem cells compared to other types of stem cells?
・How safe is it?
・Why is there no rejection?
・What about the burden on the donor?

In the future, we hope to introduce more details about these topics in the “Topics” section.

Welcome to the world’s most advanced regenerative medicine.
Would you like to receive regenerative medicine using bone marrow stem cells in Malaysia in the near future?