Regulatory authorities and orthopaedic clinical trials on expanded mesenchymal stem cells

Int Orthop. 2014 Sep;38(9):1803-9. doi: 10.1007/s00264-014-2332-z. Epub 2014 Apr 15.


Skeletal injuries requiring bone augmentation techniques are increasing in the context of avoiding or treating difficult cases with bone defects, bone healing problems, and bone regeneration limitations. Musculoskeletal severe trauma, osteoporosis-related fractures, and conditions where bone defect, bone collapse or insufficient bone regeneration occur are prone to disability and serious complications. Bone cell therapy has emerged as a promising technique to augment and promote bone regeneration. Interest in the orthopaedic community is considerable, although many aspects related to the research of this technique in specific indications may be insufficiently recognised by many orthopaedic surgeons. Clinical trials are the ultimate research in real patients that may confirm or refute the value of this new therapy. However, before launching the required trials in bone cell therapy towards bone regeneration, preclinical data is needed with the cell product to be implanted in patients to ensure safety and efficacy. These preclinical studies support the end-points that need to be evaluated in clinical trials. Orthopaedic surgeons are the ultimate players that, through their research, would confirm in clinical trials the benefit of bone cell therapies. To further foster this research, the pathway to eventually obtain authorisation from the National Competent Authorities and Research Ethics Committees under the European regulation is reviewed, and the experience of the REBORNE European project offers information and important clues about the current Voluntary Harmonization Procedure and other opportunities that need to be considered by surgeons and researchers on the topic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Diseases / therapy*
  • Bone Regeneration
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / methods*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / ethics*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Orthopedics / methods*