ASPS to host Regenerative Medicine Summit in Miami in March 2013

Jim Leonardo
06/04/2012 at 10:00AM

A newly formed ASPS Task Force on Regenerative Medicine in Plastic Surgery is preparing to add a new chapter to the history of the specialty – including the inaugural ASPS Regenerative Medicine Summit slated for March 14-17 in Miami. The multidisciplinary meeting will offer a deep dive into the clinical applications of regenerative medicine and fat grafting for aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.

The charge of the Task Force is to leverage plastic surgeons' inherent drive for innovation as a catalyst for a revolution in regenerative medicine – while keeping patients, regulators and legislators up to date on plastic surgery's role in this arena - and keep ASPS members abreast of advances and technologies in this emerging field that may be incorporated into their practices.

The task force, created by ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth, MD, and PSF President Michael Neumeister, MD, comprises more than a dozen ASPS members, including several international plastic surgeons and researchers. Task Force Chair Richard D'Amico, MD, and Vice Chair J. Peter Rubin, MD, have assembled the panel with an emphasis on broad representation across the specialty.

"Regenerative medicine is assuming an ever-growing role in medicine in general, and plastic surgery in particular," Dr. D'Amico says. "ASPS and PSF leadership have aimed to raise the profile of the specialty in this arena; it's an endeavor that encompasses many specialties - and efforts that are widely varied. It will be a challenge, but one well worth the potential benefits."

The task force's composition was purposefully varied, in order to bring in the brightest minds in regenerative therapies regardless of subspecialty interest, according to Drs. D'Amico and Rubin.

"We set out to garner input from researchers and clinicians versed in the aesthetic as well as the reconstructive sides of plastic surgery," Dr. D'Amico says. "It's an all-star team that counts colleagues from abroad - including members of the International Society of Plastic Regenerative Surgery - notably ISPRES President Gino Rigotti, MD - and many qualified colleagues from Europe and Asia."

Looking ahead

The task force has identified several immediate goals. "We wish to raise awareness of the scope of regenerative medicine therapies that are evolving currently in plastic surgery," Dr. Rubin says. "We also wish to highlight the potential for regenerative medicine therapies to impact the overall practice of plastic surgery in the future. Importantly, we want to find ways to facilitate the clinical translation of new regenerative technologies into our practices."

Areas of focus include but are not limited to innovation in biomaterial scaffold/matrix fabrication, composite tissue allotransplantation, craniofacial treatment, fat grafting, peripheral nerve therapies, scar improvement, stem cell therapies and wound healing.

"We believe this task force and its multidisciplinary approach can help build recognition of the fact that many therapeutic applications of tissue engineering or regenerative medicine, for instance, are being introduced into clinical practice," Dr. Rubin says.

"It's important that the task force emphasizes to the ASPS membership that this effort isn't just about fat grafting or aesthetics," adds Dr. D'Amico. "This goes across the entire therapeutic spectrum."

Innovators to gather

The task force has planned its inaugural symposium for March 14-17, 2013, in Miami. It will include live surgery and be aimed at attracting a broad spectrum of specialties and researchers to join ASPS members to exchange the latest ideas in this rapidly evolving field. The task force leadership also will be involved in The PSF President's Panel at the ASPS annual meeting, slated for Oct. 26-30 in New Orleans.

"We hope the multidisciplinary symposium in Miami will create very fertile interactions between our plastic surgeons and researchers from other disciplines who join us at the meeting," Dr. Rubin says. "Together, we are uniquely suited to facilitate this effort."

"We are innovators," Dr. D'Amico says. "As such, we want to ensure the specialty is well positioned on regenerative medicine - not only in the eyes of the ASPS members, but just as important, in the eyes of patients, the public, the media and regulators such as the FDA."

"This is a great time to rally together our scientific partners in regenerative medicine to discuss plastic surgery therapeutic applications," Dr. Rubin adds. "The task force's merge of topics and interests, hopefully, will educate as well as yield information that's of great interest to all ASPS members - and foster collaborations that will lead to more-rapid development of new technologies.

"We'd like ASPS members to keep in mind that plastic surgeons have been leaders in the development and translation of regenerative therapies, and that there are many examples of this in the current practice of this specialty," he says. "We're hoping to discuss these innovations so that we can build technologies and techniques for future therapies."