In the case of serious injury or dysfunctions in tissues or organs, medicinal treatment in general cannot be a definitive therapy, and there is no way other than to use surgical treatment and organ transplantation.
However, there are two major difficulties in organ transplantation: immune rejection of organs offered by others and a chronic deficiency of organ donors.
As a technology to overcome the limitations of this transplantation medical care, regenerative medicine has gained much attention since the 1980’s.
Regenerative medicine has hitherto been expected as a novel medical transplantation that can solve the problems of classical tissue organ transplantation and can achieve equivalent treatment effects.
However, the practical use of regenerative medicine also has the following problems, and has not yet been widely used as a general medical care. Thus, future improvement and technological innovations are needed.
<Issues of regenerative medicine>
- Cost: High production costs/need for special cell processing facilities
- Safety: Risk of cell degeneration caused by the in vitro cell culture process
- Regulation: Uncertainty of regulatory approval rules
- Supply: Necessity of cell culture period and loss of early treatment opportunities
- Distribution: High cost of storage and distribution