Autotherapies are treatments based on the body’s innate ability to heal and protect itself. In a new opinion piece published in Trends in Molecular Medicine, NIDCR Director Dr. Martha J. Somerman and NIDCR coauthors outline recent scientific advances that open the door to development of new autotherapies, which represent a minimally invasive approach to enhance tissue healing. The paper, Autotherapies: Enhancing Endogenous Healing and Regeneration, was published online in September 2018.
“We predict that autotherapies will become strategies of choice for healing and regeneration of human tissues, and that this process will be powered by integration of advances in basic sciences with tools and technologies allowing manipulation of the tissue microenvironment,” the authors write. “Although significant strides have been made over the past several decades in predictably guiding, controlling, and monitoring the behavior of cells and biomaterials in vivo, much progress is still needed in this area; advancing this work will be a key factor in enabling translation of autotherapies to clinical practice.”
Advancing the development of autotherapies in the dental, oral, and craniofacial region is one of the five themes of the NIDCR 2030 strategic initiative to envision the future of NIDCR research. In January 2018, NIDCR hosted a symposium that brought together leading-edge researchers in the field to present the latest science and discuss gaps, challenges, and opportunities for advancing autotherapies research. View the videocast or read a summary of the symposium, "Autotherapies: Enhancing Our Innate Healing Capacity."