Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stem Cell Study Re-Grows Heart Muscle in Heart Attack Patients

Stem Cell Study Re-Grows Heart Muscle in Heart Attack Patients

Stem cells are incredible cells that have proven to be invaluable to scientists over the last 50 years. They have the ability to divide through the process of mitosis into a diverse spectrum of cell types, and can aid in the repair of vital organs. Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute located in Los Angels California have recently released findings that exemplify the amazing potential of these cells, and their potential to repair organs after trauma.

Patients that had suffered heart attacks were taken in at CSHI and were subject to an experimental procedure using stem cells, (animal tests had been preformed before hand). Eduardo Marban, the director of CSHI stated that the procedures primary intent was to verify the safety of like procedures, while also monitoring the regenerative properties of the heart tissue after implementation. The results they found were astonishing. Select patients in the study were treated with their own heart-derived cells, which were applied to the damaged area shortly after a heart attack. The process of obtaining these cells began with a biopsy of heart tissue smaller than the size of a raisin. This sample would be the basis for the growth of new heart cells, and expand to between 12 and 25 million cells. Once the sample had grown in the culture process, it would be reintroduced into the coronary arteries in a process similar to the biopsy. A year after the stem cell treatment, patients saw a 50 percent decrease (24%-12%) in scar tissue associated with the heart attack. Control patients had no reduction in scar tissue, which composed 24 percent of the heart after an attack.

CSHI has taken out a patent on the process of deriving these cells, and plan to use similar processes in the future. The possibilities for these types of processes are limitless. Right now, stem cells implantation shows a 50 percent regenerative effectiveness, and it is only in the earliest stages of its trials. This procedure is at the forefront of a major breakthrough in the biomedical and bioengineering fields. Stem cell use is on the cusp of its heyday, and may very well prove to be one of the most effective and influential procedures and medical processes of this century.

Posted by: Jeff Keating (2)

Reference Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185441.htm


  1. Great article. This really shows how much the medical field has evolved. It would be amazing to see this type of procedure done, since the cells are coming from your own heart.What kind of stem cells are these and can this procedure be done to other organs in the body?

    Posted by Khoa Chu

    1. Stem cell research is very interesting to me ever since I took a bioethics class my senior year of High School. We had talked about the morals of embryonic stem cell research. I am all for adult stem cell research for reasons exemplified in this blog. Heart attack victims are showing remarkable recoveries because of this treatment.

      Posted by Jen Silva

  2. This certainly is s breakthrough. Adult stem cells tend to be not as versatile as embryonic stem cells, as they often aren't as receptive to the factors that make stem cells differentiate.
    However, these doctors have managed to find a way to make adult stem cells work. Using these adult cells would pretty much remove most of the controversy that surrounds stem cells.

    Posted by Joseph Frimpong

  3. This is so interesting, especially because stem cells used to be such a controversial subject. Medicine really has come a long way. My friend is donating her bone marrow to a person with leukemia. This is so much better than the frequent blood transfusions that the person would normally have to go through because they will now have my friend's healthy stem cells that will differentiate in the person's body. Modern medicine is so amazing, great topic choice!

    Posted By Erica Bonnell

  4. this is a groundbreaking discovery to say the least. very excited to see where this research leads to. If the heart can be treated in this way, I'm pretty sure in the next 5 years we'll see stem cells being able to treat other organs too. As mentioned in the two previous response, this will definitely take away the controversy that has surrounded this research, because now they're working with adult stem cells instead of embryonic.

    -Hermann Kam

  5. They might be the way of the future. They could be the last hope for the victims of cranial and spinal injuries. Sure skin and bone grows back, but neurons in the CNS have a bit more trouble. Stem cells could be the key. Just imagine being able to tell someone that they will be able to walk again in honesty. Great topic

    posted by Dorian Pillari

  6. What a great article! As I have mentioned before this is just another step of the great progress of science and medicine. The topic of stem cells has been very controversial yet the great reduction in scr tissue to the heart with the use of adult stem cells is astonishing and should help to reduce some of the controversy. If one has discovered this to help the heart, it is only a matter of time before stem cells can help many medical problems. Stem cels could be the cure we have been looking for.

  7. I find the topic of stem cells very interesting. They can repair organs and are in research towards finding cures for certain diseases like cancer and diabetes. Scientists just recently found a way to create stem cells from other cells. This is good because it used to be that the only way that we used to get them was from abortion. I hope that the stem cell study one day does find cures for some of the most devastating diseases known to man.

    Posted by Nicco Ciccolini

  8. I hope some day the stigma attached to using embryonic stem cells can be reduced or entirely thrown out so we can start some incredible breakthroughs in regenerative surgery. The idea of a patch that completely heals a wound isn't just in the realm of science fiction once embryonic stem cells are taken into account. This is a great article and it shows that even with just adult stem cells we can still take great strides in medicine. Now imagine research using the real deal.

    by Mike Selden