The study of diseases which are characterized by soft tissue ossification has both pathological and physiological importance. Once the pathogenesis in these diseases is understood, this should provide a rational basis for both treatment and prophylaxis—areas which up to now have been generally unsatisfactory. Moreover, insight into the pathogenesis of ectopic ossification will no doubt lead to an understanding of the physiological situation in which the soft tissues do not ossify. This in turn will lead towards the broader goal of an understanding of the regulation of other aspects of normal bone production.
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