Regenerative Medicine Consult Service
Timothy J. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.: So the Regenerative Medicine Consult Service has been started at Mayo Clinic in the transplant center. This service allows us to contact and interact with patients that may have questions about regenerative medicine and specifically: "Do stem cells, are stem cells being applied to my condition or my disease?"
For example, some patients ask questions: "I have heart disease and I am not a transplant candidate, but what about stem cells? Is somebody doing research or applying stem cells to give therapy that way?" And we work with these patients individually to understand exactly what their needs are, what their questions are, and we try to align patients with potential research studies that may be going on to help them participate in the research that's necessary to advance these technologies towards the clinic.
One of the unique things of the Regenerative Medicine Consult Service is that we get to interact with many patients, some of which we've never thought of ourselves, and their specific diseases or specific questions that do come up that provoke us to think about what can we do to understand this disease better? How can we apply regenerative medicine strategies to understand it? And ultimately what is it going to take to develop a new, novel therapy that we may be able to offer to our patients? All of these questions start with our ability to really interact with the patients and understand the unmet needs of our patients before we even go into the research lab.
The Regenerative Medicine Consult Service at Mayo Clinic provides educational guidance and appropriate referrals to research studies and clinical trials in stem cell therapies. Indications for a regenerative medicine consult include (but are not limited to) degenerative and congenital diseases of the heart, liver, pancreas and lungs in which the patient or clinician has questions about the value of stem cell-based therapies.
Patients and health care providers are informed of existing regenerative services at Mayo Clinic. When appropriate, patients are referred to research studies at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere that are actively recruiting participants. In other instances, a subspecialty referral can be made.
Timothy J. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., whose research focuses on regenerative medicine, oversees the service.
For more information, call 844-276-2003.