Keio University is poised to conduct the world's first treatment of patients who have sustained spinal cord injuries using induced pluripotent stem cells, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

If approved by the state, the private university plans to inject neural stem cells produced from iPS cells into four people aged 18 or older who were injured while playing sports or in traffic accidents, starting next year.

For the planned treatment, a team of Keio researchers led by Hideyuki Okano, a professor in the School of Medicine, will first create neural stem cells from iPS cells in storage at Kyoto University and then freeze them for preservation, the sources said.