• Biotherapeutics

    Advancing regenerative medicine through a shared vocabulary

Regenerative medicine is defining an entirely new area of health care, spawning innovative advances across research, education and clinical practice. Like any emerging field, regenerative medicine is generating a plethora of new terms to learn.

Mayo Clinic, a global leader in advancing this new field of medicine, contributed in establishing a standardized regenerative medicine lexicon. This multinational endeavor included collaboration with the Future Medicine publishing group and was posted on the RegMedNet website.

The expanded lexicon builds on four previous editions and includes a record 742 curated regenerative medicine terms. This authoritative tool is titled "The Glossary of Advanced Therapies."

Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine; Saranya Wyles, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Regenerative Medicine and Surgery curriculum; and Zubin Master, Ph.D., bioethicist for Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine, served on the Glossary Editorial Panel.  

Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D.

"The new glossary underscores the vibrancy and progress of the field as regenerative therapeutic platforms become increasingly integral to transformative care paths. Development of a common set of field-centric terms and definitions facilitates clear communication across communities of practice and geographies," Dr. Terzic's writes in an introductory editorial published in Regenerative Medicine.

Emerging fields need consistent terminology

Regenerative medicine is so new that many terms used to describe it are poorly understood or may be mistaken for different meanings. "The Glossary of Advanced Therapies" establishes standard definitions and terms used in regenerative medicine research, practice and education.

Zubin Master, Ph.D.

"The understanding of key regulatory definitions is very important," says Dr. Master. "Lack of clarity is why regulators like the Food and Drug Administration have developed additional guidance to provide clarification on regenerative medicine definitions."

A standardized lexicon increases understanding

A glossary is a valuable instrument that helps ensure consistency, normalization and standardization. As regenerative sciences move from research to practice, it is important that all stakeholders can communicate efficiently using common terminology to increase understanding and collaboration. That is particularly important as disparate groups, such as scientists, health care providers, academia, industry, regulators, investors, insurers and government regulators, address unmet patient needs with validated regenerative solutions.

"The rigor observed in 'The Glossary for Advanced Therapies' adds clarity and credibility to the regenerative medicine field, delineating the contemporary breadth and depth, while providing a clearer and deeper understanding of its building blocks and their origins," says Dr. Terzic. "Recent advances encompass technically sophisticated areas, such as gene editing, cellular and tissue engineering, biopotentiation and bioprinting, biomaterials, nanomedicine and materials science, requiring a universal vocabulary for advanced therapeutics."

Global audience

The regenerative medicine glossary becomes increasingly important to building understanding across cultures as regenerative medicine expands clinically to patients throughout the world. A standardized lexicon lays the foundation for a global educational resource. Designated editorial teams and experts will update the database with new terms.

"Collectively, use of such a glossary assists in the common understanding of the science and best practices underlying regenerative medicine. It systematizes point-of-reference materials of shared, retrievable knowledge for patients, their families and health care consumers seeking regenerative solutions," says Dr. Terzic. "This is an important step in advancing and integrating regenerative medicine standards worldwide."

"The Glossary for Advanced Therapies" can be downloaded off the RegMedNet website.

Dr. Terzic is the Michael S. and Mary Sue Shannon Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, and Marriott Family Professor in Cardiovascular Diseases Research.


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