What Is Regenerative Medicine

November 10, 2020

The concept of regenerative medicine is at the heart of many of today’s most important healthcare trends –- cell therapies, personalized and precision medicine, tissue engineering, biologics, immunotherapies and others.  In short, it means harnessing the body’s intrinsic ability to repair injuries, to grow new bone and tissue, to moderate inflammation and other immune responses and to enable proper communication among the trillions of cells, proteins and other microbiological elements of our bodies.

Good health means that these amazing, multiple and highly interconnected processes are functioning properly. These processes are also at the center of restoring good health – they are why a cut or bruise heals itself, why chronic joint paid responds to properly administered rehabilitation, and how the radiation scars suffered by a cancer patient resolve into healthy tissue. (To take only a few examples.)

It is also possible to say what regenerative medicine is not – it is not a pill which tends to temporarily address a symptom, rather than cure the root cause of an illness. (Pills which, unfortunately, often lead to undesirable systemic side effects. Just listen to any drug commercial on television.)  Nor is it surgery, although regenerative medicine can decidedly make a significant difference in surgical outcomes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has long recognized the power of regenerative medicine to make a real difference in addressing many diseases and health conditions. (See this article.)  Other leading governmental and academic medical institutions have similarly validated the power of regenerative medicine. Examples include the U.S. Department of Defense, the Mayo Clinic, the States of California and New York, Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the European Medicines Agency and dozens of others.

Recognizing the power of regenerative medicine to do good (or in the wrong hands to do harm), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put in place a comprehensive regulatory framework for so-called human cell and tissue products (“HCT/P’s). See here for an overview of this framework. The FDA and state authorities have not hesitated to initiate enforcement actions against unscrupulous or untrained providers of “cell therapies” and other purported versions of regenerative medicine. (See here, here and here for illustrative examples.)

In summary, regenerative medicine is based on the science of why our bodies work well, and how they heal. In the right clinical hands, it represents a safe, efficacious approach to a broad variety of conditions and personal health goals – whether musculoskeletal, skin and tissue, rehabilitation and “pre-habilitation”, vascular, fitness and other. Regenerative Medicine Services of New York is a product-agnostic organization dedicated to the evidence-based, regulatorily compliant and transparent delivery of regenerative medicine procedures to patients in the tri-state areas. We work closely with their physicians to provide educational, training and access to international best-practices across a variety of indications. Talk to your physician about how we can help you.

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