TAMIL NADU

Japan, India plan to improve personnel exchanges

A NEW LEASE OF LIFE: Jeena, an eight-year-old child cured of cancer, releasing a bulletin at a function to celebrate the first anniversary of Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Chennai. Photo: Shaju John

A NEW LEASE OF LIFE: Jeena, an eight-year-old child cured of cancer, releasing a bulletin at a function to celebrate the first anniversary of Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Chennai. Photo: Shaju John  

Staff Reporter

Bilateral relations are likely to be dramatically strengthened, says envoy

CHENNAI: The Japanese and Indian Governments are looking at measures to improve personnel exchanges at both government and non-governmental levels by the year-end, Consul-General of Japan Yoahiaki Kodaki said on Tuesday.

He said negotiations were being opened for the Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.

Personnel exchanges

It would help to increase personnel exchanges in business. In 2007, which both the Governments have declared the Indo-Japan Friendship Year, the focus would be on cultural exchanges.

"Personnel exchanges and cultural exchanges between India and Japan will become more and more significant to understand each other properly, as the relations between India and Japan are expected to be dramatically strengthened in the years to come," Mr. Kodaki said at the first anniversary celebration of Nichi-in Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM).

Regenerative medicine

Shigeo Tsukahara, vice-president, Yamanashi University, Japan, said the university was planning to collaborate with the NCRM in regenerative medicine. "I think the collaborations could lead to a breakthrough medicine."

Earlier in the day, doctors of the NCRM and Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore, claimed they were the first in India to cure eight-year-old Jeena Sukumaran of blood cancer by using Autologous Immune Enhancement Therapy (AIET), along with chemotherapy.

New technique

Under the technique, which was being used for the past two decades in western countries, peripheral blood samples were drawn from Jeena and processed at the NCRM laboratory to multiply the anti-tumour lymphocytes and natural killer cells and then it was transfused.

The technique was performed only when cancer was already in remission.

Jeena was brought to the NCRM for AIET, as other treatments such as bone marrow transplant and cord blood transplants were not available to her.

Bulletin released

"It has worked very well, and we are encouraged to try it on more cases," said Samuel J.K. Abraham, Director, NCRM. A bulletin, "Cell-e-bration", was released.

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