Adult stem cells may help repair hearts damaged by heart attack -- in part by becoming heart cells themselves.
That was the finding of a new study, released Monday, that points to a promising new treatment for heart attack patients that could reduce mortality and lessen the need for heart transplants. Adult stem cells also could aid in healing damaged livers, kidneys, pancreases and other organs.
If confirmed by further trials, the new therapy could be in general use within five years, estimates Dr. Joshua Hare, a University of Miami cardiologist and lead author of the national 10-university study…
``This is an exciting first step in a direction many thought cell therapy couldn't go,'' said Dr. Robert Simari, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester who was not involved in the trial. ``It has demonstrated safety and good changes.''
Miami Herald by Fred Tasker, 11/30/09