A trial being conducted in the US has successfully managed to repair the heart muscle of a patient suffering from heart attack using stem cells collected from his own heart.
The trial is being conducted at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Around 25 patients are taking part in the trial, 17 of whom received stem cell treatment while the remaining eight received standard care and formed the control group.
The researchers found that those who received stem cell infusion displayed visible improvement with the scar tissue mass being reduced by 12 percent at the end of one year compared to no improvement in the control group. The study has been published in The Lancet journal.
The researchers said that the reduction in scar tissue was replaced by healthy muscle cells and that the improvement was more pronounced in human hearts compared to animals. "While the primary goal of our study was to verify safety, we also looked for evidence that the treatment might dissolve scar and regrow lost heart muscle. The effects are substantial, and surprisingly larger in humans than they were in animal tests", Dr Eduardo Marban, who worked on the study, said.