The cardio-thoracic department of Chennai-based Sri Ramachandra University and Dr Naresh Trehan's centre in New Delhi will start the research after the department of biotechnology gives its nod for a pilot project. The hospitals will tie up with city-based stem cell bank LifeCell and Harvest Technologies which manufactures devices for stem cell harvesting.
It's a new school of thought. We will not be working on the part of the heart muscle that has died after a heart attack. Instead, we would work on the remaining part of the heart. The cells that are on the border of the damaged area have a greater potential to be regenerated along with the remaining healthy portions," said Mayur Abhaya, executive director, Lifecell International.
WHO predicts that by 2010, 60% of cardiac patients in the world will be Indians. "This therapy uses adult stem cells found in the bone marrow. Here too, we would be using a new technology where stem cells can be derived at a much faster rate. In fact in just 15 minutes, against the usual 8 hours," says Scott Shea, managing director Harvest Technologies.
Dr Amit N Patel, director of cardiac stem cell therapies, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine, says that injection of stem cells improve the function of muscles and blood vessels allowing patients to lead a near-normal life. Senior cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan agrees. "When drug therapy fails and a heart is not available for transplant, stem cell becomes a viable option. I have seen a success rate of up to 90% in this therapy. In 20 patients injected with stem cells, we have seen new arteries growing from damaged stem cell areas. A scientific paper on this has been accepted by the International Cardiac Surgery," says Dr Trehan.
Source: The Times of India 21 May 2009