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Clinical results

Every therapy thrives on success

Reported success rates of up to 90% with ACT
The first clinical experience with ACT (autologous chondrocyte transplantation) was reported on in 1994 by Brittberg et al. The primary success rate then stood at over 75% with clinically good and very good outcomes. The new formation of "hyaline-like" articular cartilage was histologically proven. These results were confirmed later by many other authors. The term "hyaline-like" was chosen because following the ACT a zonal structure formation, such as the one which exists in healthy hyaline cartilage had not yet been observed, although the biochemical constitution and the biomechanical weight bearing capacity of the newly formed cartilage basic structure corresponds closely to that of hyaline cartilage.

Both the results of long-term studies conducted and the results of prospective randomized studies show that ACT is superior to other methods at the latest in cartilage damage with a defect area of over 4 cm2. Consequently, ACT has since been recommended as the primary therapeutic procedure for defects of this size and given indications by the national German specialist associations for trauma surgery (DGU) and for orthopedics (DGOOC).

Initial first clinical trials indicate that even patients with limited degenerative cartilage damage benefit from an ACT. In addition, the use of NOVOCART® 3D allows for simpler, quicker application, principally for defects with unmaintained containment (= incomplete cartilage margin).

A number of authors reported the formation of biomechanically inferior replacement (fibrous) cartilage following an ACT.  Reasons discussed for the cause of this have been false determination of indications, variable cell culture conditions and/or the resultant variable transplant quality. According to current knowledge, the cause of treatment failure of ACT could also be intraoperative injuries to the subchondral bone lamella or an insufficient periost covering (with the conventional form of ACT).

Altogether, over a period of over 14 years, clinical trials have now reported success rates of up to 90%. Various studies of ACT show that the success of the procedure is essentially dependent on the abovementioned factors:
Indication, cell quality and correct operative technique

The procedure introduced by TETEC takes these learnings fully into account. An innovative isolation and cultivation process results in excellent cell quality, guaranteed through the regular conducting of quality assurance controls. The biphasic support material developed by our working group especially for human cartilage cells makes transplantation of the cells both safer and more straightforward.