Stem cell therapy relying on patient’s own unhealthy heart may be dangerous

heart attack

A new study at Tel Aviv University shows that stem cell therapy, one of the few treatments available to patients with severe and end-stage heart failure, can actually harm them unless it is done differently.

“We concluded that stem cells used in cardiac therapy should be drawn from healthy donors or be better genetically engineered for the patient,” said lead researcher Jonathan Leor of the university’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sheba Medical Center.

Doctors use tissue or adult stem cells to replace damaged tissue, which encourages regeneration of blood vessel cells and new heart muscle tissue. But cardiac stem cells from a diseased heart can lead to a toxic interaction via a molecular pathway between the heart and the immune system, the study found.

“We found that, contrary to popular belief, tissue stem cells derived from sick hearts do not contribute to heart healing after injury,” Leor said. “Furthermore, we found that these cells are affected by the inflammatory environment and develop inflammatory properties. The affected stem cells may even exacerbate damage to the already diseased heart muscle.”

[Read the fully study here (behind paywall)]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Study says some stem cells dangerous for heart patients

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