NEW RESEARCH ADVANCES THEORY OF HEART CELL REGENERATION
VALHALLA, N.Y., June 7, 2005 —The first demonstration in a large mammal that stem cells in the heart can be activated to repair damaged cardiac tissue is highlighted in a new study by Dr. Piero Anversa and a team of New York Medical College research scientists. The paper, “Cardiac Stem Cells in the Dog Heart Regenerate Infarcted Myocardium Improving Cardiac Performance,” gives mounting evidence of the heart’s ability to heal itself, and is the latest in a series of studies by the research team. The paper will appear online in this week’s Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The same approach can be applied to humans,” asserts Dr. Anversa, professor of medicine and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute. The paper strengthens the team’s theory that myocytes (heart muscle cells) can regenerate after a heart attack via adult stem cells already in place within the injured heart.
“The current study advances the field of regenerative cardiology… [by] closing the gap between rodents and humans and strengthening the feasibility and applicability of local stem cell activation in the patient population. This strategy is minimally invasive and avoids the complication of rejection and the effects of time on the onset of therapy… Additionally, the risks inherent in the systemic mobilization of a large number of hematopoietic and other stem cells to non-target organs are prevented. Cellular therapy becomes organ specific,” the authors write.