Follow the Money To Find the First Therapies

ABCNews reminds us that you'll find the first (expensive, comparatively crude) experimental application of new technologies right where the money is. In the case of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, modern athletics is one such location: "some researchers are optimistic that sports medicine could reap the benefits of stem cells in the foreseeable future. ... In athletes, we will probably first see stem cells being used to treat meniscus injuries in the knee and tendon injuries ... We could also see it used in ligament reconstruction in the knee. ACL repair is a common operation -- typically you take part of a ligament from a donor site in the knee. Instead we might be able to use a patient's own cells to grow their own ligament. ... one company is currently in the early phases of a clinical trial for a new technique to repair the meniscus -- a crucial wedge of cartilage in the knee joint. ... Although the trial is still in its early stages, he said these therapies may one day allow athletes to heal more completely and faster than ever before. ... Stem cell therapy is much closer than people think. Once that happens, it's really going to open up the door for large-scale stem cell therapies to invade into other areas and become part of the armament of sports medicine physicians."


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