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Update on the use of stem cells for cardiac disease

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Major advances have recently been made in our understanding of stem cell biology, and in the application of stem cells to treat cardiac disease. Resident cardiac stem cells have now been described and the long-accepted paradigm of the adult mammalian heart as an organ without regenerative capacity has been questioned. Various stem-cell-based approaches for ameliorating cardiac disease have been shown to be beneficial in animal models and are now being trialled in humans, with several phase I clinical studies already completed. Although these clinical studies lacked adequate placebo controls, they have consistently shown promising results. If confirmed by larger phase II/III trials, it is possible that within a few years a powerful new therapeutic option may be available for the burgeoning number of patients suffering from myocardial ischaemia and/or other cardiac disorders. (Intern Med J 2005; 35: 348–356)

Keywords: cardiac; progenitor; regeneration; stem cell

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-06-01

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