The Campaign to Cure Arthritis is creating a world-first research program that addresses the arthritis health care crisis. The goal is to find a way to identify those who are predisposed to arthritis, offer early diagnosis to prevent the disease from advancing, and create personalized treatment plans that include repairing joints with stem cells and tissue engineering.
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This research initiative is focused on making hip, knee and other joint replacements a thing of the past. Arthritis is a chronic degenerative disease. In Osteoarthritis, joint cartilage gradually deteriorates until the joint is completely destroyed and left with bone-on-bone and, at present, the only alternative is a joint replacement.
This is a ground breaking research initiative lead by the Arthritis Program at the Toronto Western Hospital. The new Arthritis Research Platform that is under development does not exist anywhere else in the world. It will give arthritis researchers the opportunity to study the different forms of arthritis systematically for the first time.
The Arthritis Program will work in collaboration with the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the Toronto General Hospital. The idea is that through stem cell research we will develop techniques for growing live tissue and cartilage which can then be injected or surgically implanted into the joint making joint replacement unnecessary.
This would be a huge breakthrough. Across Canada there are over 100,000 joint replacements annually. Arthritis is costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars every year as well as incredible lost time and pain and suffering for patients.
With an all out effort, this game changing initiative will be successful. It's only a matter of time – but the sooner the better. I hope you will join the doctors and researchers at the Toronto Western and Toronto General Hospitals and the Campaign Cabinet to help up make this important breakthrough happen.
Bryce W. Douglas & Anthony S. Fell