Focal and degenerative lesions of articular cartilage greatly reduce the patient’s quality of life. Various therapies including surgical treatment have been developed, but a definitive therapy is not yet known. Several cell therapy products have already been developed and are available in the market. In this study, we examined the clinical research trends related to cell therapy products in the cartilage repair field based on data obtained from the ClinicalTrial.gov website. Although this website does not provide comprehensive results of clinical trials, it offers information on prospective clinical trials, including work in progress, and thus allows for chronological analysis of the data. We selected 203 studies related to the field of cartilage regeneration from ClinicalTrial.gov. The results showed a shift in the clinical translational trend in utilized cells from cartilage- and bone marrow- to adipose tissue-based cells. Whereas the studies that used cartilage as the cell source included many phase III trials, fewer studies using bone marrow and adipose tissue cells progressed to phase III, suggesting that most clinical developments using the latter sources have not been successful so far. One product covered the entire period from the start of phase I to the completion of phase III, with a time to completion of more than 100 months. Translational trends in autologous chondrocyte implantation were also discussed. The use of ClinicalTrials.gov as the sole data source can yield a perspective view of the global clinical translational trends, which has been difficult to observe up to this point.
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