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Japanese Laws and the Current Status of Regenerative Medicine in the Tohoku Region.

AIM: The aim of this study was to review Japanese laws regarding regenerative medicine and the current status of clinical application of regenerative medicine, to learn about the advantages and problems, and to thereby serve as a reference for measures necessary for the development of regenerative medicine.

BACKGROUND: Regenerative medicine started in 1957 with the transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells, followed by the establishment of embryonic stem cells in 1981 and induced pluripotent stem cells in 2006, and continues to evolve progressively. At the same time, however, problems have emerged due to lax legal regulations, such as the use of treatments that lack scientific evidence.

REVIEW RESULTS: The Japanese government enacted two laws to regulate regenerative medicine: the Law to Ensure the Safety of Regenerative Medicine and the Amend the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law in 2013. These laws were enacted with the aim of providing safe regenerative medicine promptly and smoothly and developing many regenerative medicine products. In these laws, regenerative medicine is defined as medical treatment that restores lost functions of damaged organs and tissues with the help of cellular and tissue-based products. Nowadays, there are two major methods of regenerative medicine. One representative method involves the transplantation of devices that activates self-regenerative ability by introducing living cells into patients' body. The other method is the activation and differentiation of endogenous stem cells with cell growth and differentiation factors.

CONCLUSION: The current status of regenerative medicine in the Tohoku region after the enactment of these laws is described in detail. This clarified the advantages and disadvantages associated with regenerative medicine as it is currently practiced in Japan.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Development of regenerative medicine in dentistry will be advanced by learning about its clinical application in medicine.

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