One of the effects of oppressive regulation in medical research is that animals have better access to cutting edge therapies than people:
Veterinary science continues to provide the shining example of where we could be with even just a little less waste, less socialism and less pointless, self-serving bureaucracy.
In the race to perfect 'regenerative medicine,' stem cell therapy for animals is ahead of treatment for humans because it is not so strictly regulated. It's not experimental - it's here. ... There are no side effects and no problems with rejection, because the patient is also the cell donor. ... I don't see any reason why humans aren't doing it."
Here is another example of the sort of work presently taking place in veterinary medicine, but that is many (government-enforced, largely unnecessary) trials away from reaching human clinics:
Tendon injuries can be career-killers for horses: only 5 to 15 percent of those with damaged tendons will ever make it back to the track, he says. But a novel treatment that Casey developed - injecting adult tendon cells grown in a lab into horses’ injured core lesions - has had remarkable success. The first 10 of 14 horses treated have returned to intensive training, and seven of these racers are back in full competition, he says. “We’re putting back natural tissue into a defect that has formed,” says Casey. “It’s minimally invasive. So far so good.”
They’re looking to take their findings in regenerative medicine in animals and apply them to humans. Think new treatments for stubborn injuries to areas like the Achilles tendon and rotator cuff. “Before the rotator cuff goes, we would be able to put tenocytes back into the tear and help heal,” says Casey.
Before that happens, however, there’s work to do, Casey says, including safety studies to determine that once injected, cells stay where they’re supposed to and don’t travel. Another would be to determine that the cellular signaling message to “turn on” or divide gets “turned off” again. Therapy Cells has hired a legal team in Washington, D.C. to work toward approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “It will revolutionize how you treat tendon injuries,” predicts Casey.
Casey says he and his team will await guidance from the FDA about the next steps to take. “But our first target is to hopefully gain FDA approval and in short order have human applications in human tendons,” he says. If that day arrives, he may finally end up with patients who can actually talk to him about their treatment.