Insurance-covered therapy:Autologous Cultured Cartilage transplantation

Knee cartilage treatments using Autologous Cultured Cartilage have been covered by insurance since April 1, 2013.
As of March 2021, Autologous Cultured Cartilage is indicated for (available as treatment for) "traumatic articular cartilage defects or osteochondritis dissecans of the knee (excluding knee osteoarthritis), limited to cases where no other treatment method is available and the applicable cartilage defect has a cartilage loss area of at least 4 cm2".

Characteristics of Autologous Cultured Cartilage transplantation

Rejection reaction is unlikely to occur

When foreign matter enters the human body, a "rejection reaction" occurs as the body attempts to expel it. In transplantation, it is very important to keep this rejection reaction at a low level. With Autologous Cultured Cartilage transplantation, rejection reactions rarely occur, because the treatment uses Autologous Cultured Cartilage that is cultured from the patient's own cartilage cells.

Capable of accommodating large knee cartilage defects

Autologous Cultured Cartilage can be used to treat large cartilage defects that would have been untreatable in the past, because it is made by culturing a small amount of healthy cartilage cells. There are a number of different methods for treating knee cartilage, but only Autologous Cultured Cartilage transplantation can treat large knee cartilage defects and is covered by insurance (as of July 2020).

The 2nd regenerative medical product approved in Japan

Autologous Cultured Cartilage transplantation was approved by the national government in July of 2012. It was the second product to be approved in the regenerative medicine field in Japan, preceded only by Autologous Cultured Epidermis. Moreover, among the regenerative medical products for knee cartilage, only Autologous Cultured Cartilage has been approved by the Japanese government (as of July 2020).

Over 1000 people have already received treatment

Use of Autologous Cultured Cartilage Transplantation to treat patients began in 2013. This treatment method is still not widely known, but as of April 2020, over 1000 patients have already received treatment.

Surgical procedures and applications are evolving

Thus far, the "patient's own periosteum" has been used to anchor the transplanted cultured cartilage in Autologous Cultured Cartilage Transplantation. Use of an "artificial collagen film" instead was approved by the national government in January of 2019. This eliminates the need to harvest periosteum from the patient, and it reduces the physical burden on the patient and simplifies the surgical procedure for the physician.

The use and commercialization of the medicinal products developed by Japan Tissue Engineering Co., Ltd. that are referred to on this website are approved only in Japan. A potential use and commercialization in other regions will be subject to the prior granting of a marketing authorization in the given territory and compliance with applicable laws.