Biologic-based treatment strategies for musculoskeletal diseases have gained traction over the past 20 years as alternatives to invasive, costly, and complicated surgical interventions. Spinal degenerative disc disease (DDD) is among the anatomic areas being investigated among this group, notably due to its high incidence and functional debilitation. In this review, we report the literature encompassing the use of biologic-based therapies for DDD. Articles published between January 1995 and November 2015 were reviewed, with a subset meeting the primary and secondary inclusion criteria of clinical trial results that could be sub-classified into bimolecular, cell-based, or gene therapies, as well as studies investigating the utility of allogeneic and tissue-engineered intervertebral discs. Ongoing clinical trials that have not yet published results are also mentioned to present the current state of the field. This exciting area has demonstrated positive and encouraging results across multiple strategies; thus, future bimolecular and regenerative techniques and understanding will likely lead to an increase in the number of human clinical trials assessing these therapies.
Pennicooke, B., Moriguchi, Y., Hussain, I., Bonssar, L., & Härtl, R. (2016). Biological Treatment Approaches for Degenerative Disc Disease: A Review of Clinical Trials and Future Directions. Cureus. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.892