PRP & Stem Cells
Regenerative medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs, offering solutions and hope for people who have conditions that today are beyond repair.
Regenerative medicine itself isn’t new — the first bone marrow and solid-organ transplants were done decades ago. But advances in developmental and cell biology, immunology, and other fields have unlocked new opportunities to refine existing regenerative therapies and develop novel ones.
Current evidence-based and palliative treatments are increasingly unable to keep pace with patients’ needs, especially given our aging population. There are few effective ways to treat the root causes of many diseases, injuries and congenital conditions. In many cases, clinicians can only manage patients’ symptoms using medications or devices.
Rejuvenation means boosting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Though after a cut your skin heals within a few days, other organs don’t repair themselves as readily.
But cells in the body once thought to be no longer able to divide (terminally differentiated) — including the highly specialized cells constituting the heart, lungs and nerves — have been shown to be able to remodel and possess some ability to self-heal. Teams within the center are studying how to enhance self-healing processes.
Replacement involves using healthy cells, tissues or organs from a living or deceased donor to replace damaged ones. Organ transplants, such as heart and liver transplants, are good examples.
The center aims to expand opportunities for transplants by finding ways to overcome the ongoing donor shortage, the need for immunosuppression and challenges with organ rejection.
Regeneration involves delivering specific types of cells or cell products to diseased tissues or organs, where they will ultimately restore tissue and organ function. This can be done through cell-based therapy or by using cell products, such as growth factors. Bone marrow transplants are an example.
Regenerative Medicine For Pain Principles
Having discovered the ability of the body to organize and regenerate tissue after cell death, researchers aimed their future studies at the goal of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering to replace tissue that had been damaged, lost through injury, or deteriorating with advanced age. Many diseases and injuries that result from failing tissue could potentially be successfully treated using regenerative medicine therapies. However, the research and application has both ethical and legal considerations.
Many regenerative medicine studies and treatments involve the use of living cells and therefore both legal and ethical issues are inherent in the use of platelet-rich plasma and, more specifically, embryonic stem cells. Although stem cell research holds great promise for the development of successful treatment modalities for conditions that thus far have no permanent treatment, research also raises both ethical and political controversies. Reprogramming adult stem cells to produce pluripotent stem cells avoids these ethical issues that are specific to embryonic stem cell research.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently require approval for use of adult stem cells, however stem cell therapy does not currently have FDA approval. Physicians may prescribe treatment modalities “off label” when they believe a treatment can benefit their patient, even though that treatment has not undergone clinical trials for the specific individual diagnosis.
Regenerative Medicine Procedures
Of primary concern in the use of tissue engineering for individual treatment is maintaining the environment from which the stem cells originated. This allows the engineered cells to function as if they remain in the native bodily tissue and produce the best results. Three types of regenerative medical treatment are used for musculoskeletal chronic pain.