Stem cells lend heart to cardiac patients


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Feb 16, 2009
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Stem cells lend heart to cardiac patients

Ahmedabad: The Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC) and the Dr HL Trivedi Institute of Transplantation Sciences (DHLTITS) have added another feather in their crown under the leadership of Dr HL Trivedi. The institute located at the civil hospital campus, Asarva, has succeeded in developing a treatment for heart failure with the help of stem cell therapy.
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The recipient of the treatment is Baba Anand, who penned the famous bhajan 'Tu rangai jane rangma, Sitaram tana satsangma'. Anand will speak to the media about his experience on Thursday.
While such research on using stem cells to treat heart failure is underway across the world, including in India and Gujarat, Dr Trivedi said that the way his team developed the therapy was the first in the world. It is significant to note that Dr Trivedi and his team have successfully developed stem cell therapy for kidney diseases, wherein the patients do not need to take medicine after stem cell transplantation.
"The patient's heart muscles had weakened and were not able to pump blood in the body as needed. Research on using stem cell transplantation for various diseases is on at our institute, so we worked on developing stem cells which can be turned into heart muscle cells after transplantation. We have succeeded in this and transplanted stem cells in the patient's heart, and he is fine now," Dr Trivedi said.
Dr Trivedi said that the team had cells from the patient's stomach fat and developed these as stem cell that will be differentiated into myocardial cells once transplanted into the heart.
Talking about stem cell research into treatment for heart disease, city-based cardiologist Dr Sameer Dani said, "In the case of heart failure, stem cells are injected into the heart to create new cells to replace the old ones in the weakened muscles. However, there are three issues of concerned regarding stem cells. The first is that they may not stay in the place required to form differentiated cells."
The second issue is that after injecting the stem cells into the heart, they may not survive there; while the third is that they may not stop growing after the requirement is fulfilled and may turn into a tumour.
"There are various techniques for using stem cells, but there are no sure-shot methods that will be accepted across the world. Moreover, no one has published scientific papers on the success in using stem cells to treatment heart disease. However, there are some claims and small excerpts are available. I know more than 50 patients in the state who have undergone stem cell therapy for heart disease, but no scientific paper has been presented in this regard so far," Dr Dani said.

Stem cells lend heart to cardiac patients

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