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To Advance Regenerative Medicine, Laying a Foundation of Evidence

Photo of Dr. Scott Rodeo
Researchers and clinicians in the lab of Scott Rodeo, MD, are investigating the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of healing damaged tissues, including in the knee.

The field of regenerative medicine is rapidly evolving. In the new Center for Regenerative Medicine at HSS, clinicians are studying these cutting-edge therapies and overseeing their use in patients. Director Scott Rodeo, MD, a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon who was recently appointed Vice Chair of Orthopaedic Research at HSS, leads the institution’s efforts in this area.

What is the goal of the Center for Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine holds tremendous promise for
many musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, spine disorders, avascular necrosis, scleroderma and arthrofibrosis. But there is an urgent need for clinical and translational research studies that allow physicians to devise, test and evaluate evidence-based treatment plans. Our research program partners with the HSS Research Institute as well as clinicians and researchers across HSS to do that work. Our goal is to carry out the necessary studies to ensure safe treatment options are available for patients as quickly as possible. We also are studying the composition and biologic activity of the specific formulations given to each patient and correlating those formulations with clinical outcomes.

What challenges does the Center address?

Laboratory studies suggest strong potential for biologics such as platelet-rich plasma injections and cell-based therapies to improve the healing of tissues with relatively poor intrinsic healing ability. But the clinical data to support use of these techniques are currently very limited. A large number of unproven therapies are being marketed directly to consumers, with unsubstantiated claims of efficacy and lack of information about risks, product manufacturing and realistic expectations of outcomes. Our center is ideally positioned to work through these issues given our substantial patient volume and our highly specialized clinicians and scientists.

What clinical studies are currently underway at HSS?

Current research includes studies of cell-based therapy to facilitate tendon healing following surgical repair of rotator cuff tears and recombinant growth hormone use to prevent muscle atrophy in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and then returning to full activity.


Back to HSS Annual Report 2018-19