Despite the awful impact of the COVID pandemic, degenerative diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc.) remain the leading cause of death and disability worldwide with a tremendous social and economic burden. Degenerative diseases are characterized by cell death and/or functional impairment that leads to tissue damage and organ failure. The currently available therapies can only reduce the symptoms and provide temporary relief. This points out the need to discover and implement new treatment options and improve existing ones. For instance, recent studies have suggested that stem cell therapies can replace the dead/malfunctioning cells and provide a permanent solution to the problem. The outcome of initial stem-cells-based clinical trials was positive and encouraging but there are several challenges in taking stem cell-based therapies to the clinic. Therefore, more efforts are urgently required to improve the knowledge about stem cell behavior and their secretome, novel biomaterials, and the microenvironment of the recipient tissue. The University of Rome Tor Vergata, the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences of St. Boniface Hospital Research, Winnipeg, and the University of Naples Vanvitelli have been engaged in joint efforts to explore long-term strategies to create multinational networks committed to expand the knowledge and develop innovative technological solutions to treat degenerative diseases.
The annual International symposium represents the opportunity to inject new energy in the already established research endeavors and to spark off novel ideas to exploit in joint collaborative efforts. The interactive online event that we are organizing will offer the latest and most significant developments in basic, industry-oriented, and clinical research in the field involving some of the most advanced laboratories focused on the different aspects of the regenerative medicine. Also, the ambition of the Symposium is to help recently established laboratories in newly industrialized countries to expand their potential so that they can factually contribute to the solution of the many issues still open.