Project Outline

Introduction

The mission of National Research Centers for Advanced and Specialized Medical Care (National Center: NC), which consists of six National Centers (6NCs), is to explore and overcome particular diseases that have a significant impact on national health.

Our staff strives constantly to provide patients with medical care of the highest level in relation to each disease. In addition, we are working to develop new diagnostics, treatments and preventive techniques, especially for diseases that are difficult to diagnose and treat. However, in order to make such progress in medicine, it is absolutely necessary to use the blood, the fluid or tissue subjected to medical care to patients, the tissue removed through surgery, etc. and the blood collected for the research.

The results obtained from this research have the potential to cure not only people currently suffering from each disease, but also their children and grandchildren: people of future generations.

The following document explains the maintenance procedure for the storage of human biological materials such as blood, tissue, among others, for the cooperative researches of the 6NCs for medical “breakthroughs”.

We sincerely appreciate your cooperation and support for the mission of the NC.

Purpose

The etiology and clinical course of many common diseases (cancer, lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, etc.) are very complicated and an integrated research approach is needed to overcome them. To develop an effective treatment for a currently incurable disease, it is necessary to develop basic and clinical research from surveys on the actual disease conditions in patients.

Thus, the human biological samples—bio-resource—have been collected and used for research to promote a movement to develop cutting-edge technologies for the past decades. As the technical innovations of genomic medicine and regenerative medicine have markedly progressed especially in recent years, the banking of bio-resources has been recognized as more important, and each developed country competes to establish a “biobank”.

Although Japan is maintaining some advantage over other developed countries in “the processing technology of cell lines such as iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells,” and “highly precise medical information and its tracking system,” unfortunately, Japan is not necessarily maintaining a sufficient advantage in the area of biobank establishment.

Six NCs in Japan, which are in charge of specialized medical research and treatment, cover the main disease categories, and are the institutions that study disease biology and development of cures to protect national health. They are actively working on establishment of a joint biobank and have been developing a structure that facilitates industry-academic-government cooperation of bio-resources through broad joint research. Further promoting such 6NCs’ efforts is the purpose of this project.

National Center's Research Activities

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