The routine therapies which are offered to patients with heart attack calm disease progression but do not help repair the heart. Embryonic stem cells, which are totipotent, may be a potential source for regeneration of heart function and form after heart attacks. These cells have a promising future in this regard.
This has been explained by a research student who feels that embryonic stem cells are an emerging source for treatment of diseased hearts. However, implanting stem cells into the heart has been thought to carry risks for uncontrolled growth of the stem cells on host tissue in the heart muscle.
For the study, the stem cells were extracted and grown in sufficient number in long-term cultures, so they could be modified to produce cells that could imitate all of the functions and performances of the cells of the heart. The research group injected these cells into the diseased areas of the heart and it was found out that the affected areas regained function after three weeks. Similar results were obtained at the end of four months.
The incorporation of stem cells into the middle muscle of the heart was associated with normalized structure, replenished interior wall, little scarring, and fewer signs of the death of heart tissue. In contrast, the hearts that were treated with a placebo showed a decline in the function and health of the heart.
In conclusion, embryonic stem cells can contribute to a stable beneficial outcome on the function and remodeling of the heart after a heart attack. However, the number of stem cells delivered needs to be limited to prevent production of tumors from over-proliferation of the stem cells.