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A team of American and Argentinian researchers has proved that adult stem cells can significantly improve damaged heart tissue. [American Association for Thoracic Surgery in Toronto, 25Apr04] The patients’ own stem cells injected into the damaged areas dramatically improved heart function after surgery.

Twenty patients with weak hearts participated in the experiment. Ten patients had their own stem cells injected into the damaged areas of their heart during surgery and ten had surgery alone. The results were conclusive. The stem cell patients, after 6 months, showed significantly more improvement in their hearts than those who had surgery alone. Researcher Prof R. Kormos said the findings “will revolutionize our approach, which is largely palliative, to one that is truly regenerative.” More research is needed but the results are the most hopeful so far. Dr. Amit Patel [Div of Cardiac Surgery, Univ of Pittsburgh School of Medicine]: “What we do know is that stem cell transplantation led to significant improvement in cardiac function in these patients undergoing off-pump bypass surgery. But, further investigation is needed to replicate these results.” This breakthrough follows a long history of successful experimental/therapeutic treatments with adult stem cells (cells taken from the patient’s own body). No evidence has yet to be brought forward that such cures are likely with human embryonic stem cells.
[ coverage; TORONTO, 26Apr04; 27Apr04,]