Regenerative medicine begins this decade with many exciting possibilities for advancing health care into the future. The recent breakthrough of regenerative immunotherapies, also known as CAR-T cell therapy, which beefs up the body’s ability to attack cancer is an example. And at the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic, a collective effort of experts involving multiple departments and divisions is driving this rapidly maturing field forward.
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It sounds like science fiction.
"We are dropping the fiction part," says Dr. Andre Terzic, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Terzic underscores innovations in regenerative medicine as transformative in health care — from building new tissues and organs to triggering your body to heal itself.
"Let's say you cut your skin and the skin will heal on its own," says Dr. Terzic. "That ability that is very preeminent with the skin is what we'd like to see with other organs."
The present and future of regenerative medicine could be applied to help heal heart disease and other vital organs, life-threatening cancer, musculoskeletal and neurological diseases and injuries, and even create new organs for transplantation.
"For us, it's very important to create true hope for patients, true solutions that are both verifiable, validated through many, many of the clinical studies," says Dr. Terzic.
It's a transformative view of medicine from managing patient symptoms to truly going after the root cause of the problem.
"The future is remarkable. The word 'cures' will be increasingly real," says Dr. Terzic.