Stem cell jab could help cure heart disease

Updated: Apr 12, 2013, 18:59 PM IST

London: For the first time, scientists have successfully tested a revolutionary new treatment in heart patients, paving way for a stem cell jab to treat heart diseases.

The heart failure breakthrough involves injecting patients with their own stem cells.

In a quick and easy procedure, doctors take bone marrow from the patients` hips before injecting them directly into the heart to strengthen the muscle, the `Daily Express` reported.

With the new ground-breaking treatment at the Mayo Clinic`s Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, heart pumping function improved within six months for every patient.

The patients also enjoyed improved fitness and could walk longer distances, researchers said.

"I think it`s an exciting time where regenerative medicine is no longer science fiction. This study is providing clinical evidence for a new approach in cardiovascular regenerative medicine," Dr Andre Terzic, lead researcher of the study, said.

During the trial, 45 heart failure patients were treated with a special type of stem cell harvested from the top of the patient`s hip.

Researchers used proteins to instruct the stem cells to behave like heart cells and then injected them into the patient`s heart.

All the patients saw greater improvement in their heart health than another group given the standard treatments for heart failure. The amount of blood pumped out with each heartbeat increased by a dramatic seven per cent.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.