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Regenerative Medicine Turns the Corner at Mayo Clinic

There is a reason why relatively few science fiction stories deal with medicine. It changes too fast and fiction can become fact almost overnight.

That’s the sense one got at Mayo’s recent Regenerative Medicine symposium in Arizona. The three-day session was not open to the public. It was for Mayo researchers and a handful of collaborators to share updates. In reality, it was a bit like speed dating for scientists. Aside from a few panel discussions, the individual investigators presented for ten minutes – no longer – about their current projects. Some commented that they had to highlight ten years of progress in that short time, but the limit was needed because of the number of participants.

Fifty Mayo Clinic researchers presented over the three days. Do the math: that’s well over eight hours of continual new science being presented, non-stop, all about regenerative medicine and all from Mayo researchers.

It’s not surprising that one of the few non-Mayo speakers present – Bernard Siegel, executive director of the Regenerative Medicine Foundation – said, “Mayo Clinic is going to be the institution that the world looks to as you incorporate these potentially curative technologies into the day-to-day medical practice.”

Mayo is now conducting more than 40 regenerative medicine clinical trials spanning more than 30 separate medical conditions. Call it application or translation, Mayo is taking its research findings and innovation in RedMed and putting them to work across its clinical and hospital settings. Some examples include:

  • Same day procedures to repair injured bones using stem cells to promote growth and healing
  • One clinical trial uses the patient’s own stem cells to slow the progression of bone death in the hip and improve function.
  • Clinical trials for Crohn’s disease continue to show healing and remission with stem cell therapy.
  • Mayo already has regenerative medicine suites adjacent to the surgical suites in its hospital in Florida.

There is more than we can talk about here. Check out our upcoming feature, Renaissance in Medicine or the stories on regenerative medicine in our video section.

March 15, 2017

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