Regenerative Medicine is now considered the innovative therapeutic solutions for the 21st century for the ambition to not only treat the diseases but to cure them, especially chronic ones. The intenraional birth of the term “regenerative medicine” can be traced back to the event when the US Federal Government approved through Resolution 71 of November 2, 2004, the financing of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) by giving state funds for 3 Bn . dollars over 10 years, virtually the same amount of money that was used for the Human Genome Project. Since then it hasbeen opened a debate on what the term meant Regenerative Medicine
From the outset it was clear that this term underly the next step in the evolution of medicine from organ transplants. They were in fact the same need of organ transplants and the substitution therapy with artificial organs and indirizzavano who led and directed the research beyond the traditional approaches (Daar, 2005).
The purpose of Medicine and Surgery Regenerative is not in fact to replace what in the human body is no longer able to function, but to provide the elements necessary for its repair in vivo, to invent substitutes able to merge with the the human body and to stimulate and support the intrinsic ability of our body to regenerate and heal itself (Greenwood, 2006).
Today they all agree in defining the Regenerative Medicine and Surgery as an interdisciplinary field of research and clinical applications focused mainly on the prospects of repair, replace and / or regenerate cells, tissues and / or organs in order to restore some anatomical, physiological and biochemical features deteriorated for different causes, such as congenital defects, disease, trauma and aging. The most important feature in defining the prerogatives of Regenerative Medicine and Surgery does not consist in the use of one specific technology, but the idea of simultaneous use of a combination of several technological approaches, often converging, both existing and recently created. This poses Regenerative Medicine and Surgery one step ahead of the traditional organ transplants or of traditional therapies with the use of artificial organs.
Whenever possible, these new therapeutic approaches should be limited to promote and support the human bodys own ability to heal including, without limitation, the ‘use of soluble molecules, gene therapies, therapies based on the use of stem cells and / or progenitor, tissue engineering, cellular and / or tissue reprogramming. The economic well-being, the benefits of traditional medicine and the gradual improvement of standards of hygiene have led to a significant increase in life expectancy, a demographic trend inevitably destined to increase in the coming years. Estimates published by the “Directorate General for Health & Consumers” of the European Commission predict that by 2050, more than 25% of the population will be aged 60 to 65 years, and 20% of the population will be over 80 years old.
The society of the future, therefore, will have to face the problems that will arise from the substantial increase in the elderly. Estimates published by the International Monetary Fund estimate that an increase of only 3 years the average life of the world’s population will rise by 50% of the costs of health services. In addition, under therapeutic conditions unchanged, by 2030 spending on health care for the treatment of chronic diseases, including disability-related degeneration of the musculoskeletal tissues, could lead to amount to 47 trillion dollars, creating a scenario unsustainable state budgets (World Economic Forum, 2011).
The objectives of Regenerative Medicine are quite large, for example you can include chronic degenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease), metabolic diseases (such as diabetes), chronic osteoarticular diseases that often lead to insufficient an entire organ (heart failure). This notion of restoring impaired functions can be extended also to the processes of wound healing, repair of traumatic nerve injury and vascular and strengthening the immune system. Regenerative Medicine and Surgery in the future will have a major impact in the treatment of these diseases. The National Academy of Science of the United States has estimated that potential patients for therapies based on the use of stem cells, only in the United States of America, may include in the future: 58 million patients suffering from diseases of the cardiovascular system, 30 million patients suffering from autoimmune diseases, 16 million diabetics and 10 million patients suffering from diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
It is clear that regenerative medicine could cure / prevent chronic diseases, will represent in the near future the main instrument that will enable States to meet the total costs of the unrelenting social and health-related increase in life expectancy of the population.