‘Reprogrammed’ stem cells approved to mend human hearts for the first time

May 30, 2018

By David Cyranoski

Scientists in Japan now have permission to treat people who have heart disease with cells produced by a revolutionary reprogramming technique. The study is only the second clinical application of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These are created by inducing the cells of body tissues such as skin and blood to revert to an embryonic-like state, from which they can develop into other cell types.

On 16 May, Japan’s health ministry gave doctors the green light to take wafer-thin sheets of tissue derived from iPS cells and graft them onto diseased human hearts. The team, led by cardiac surgeon Yoshiki Sawa at Osaka University, says that the tissue sheets can help to regenerate the organ’s muscle when it becomes damaged, a symptom of heart disease that can be caused by a build-up of plaque or by a heart attack.

“It will excite worldwide attention, as many groups are working in the same direction,” says Thomas Eschenhagen, a pharmacologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany and chair of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

4 comments on “‘Reprogrammed’ stem cells approved to mend human hearts for the first time

  • @OP – “It will excite worldwide attention, as many groups are working in the same direction,” says Thomas Eschenhagen, a pharmacologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany and chair of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research.

    It will excite heart surgeons who restore life to those with damaged hearts, and it will probably also excite the allegedly “pro-life” nuts, who oppose stem cell research in order to pander to their “heart-felt” superstitions!



    Report abuse

  • Love the illustration of the heart, nice mix between simplifying or clarification and showing some of the structure often ignored when doing a diagram of the heart. I wish I’d had this a few weeks ago when I was teaching the circulatory system to my students.

    I often wonder how many people have died as a direct result of interference with the religious into this type of research. How many decades will the ultimate breakthroughs in these fields have had to wait and how many died needless deaths as a result?



    Report abuse

  • So as we need to develop new treatments and maintain existing ones, I see the UK Tory government, is still underfunding the NHS and preaching “austerity”, but seems to buckets of money to splash on military hardware!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44392152

    PM to give ‘significant’ cash to the NHS

    The NHS will receive a “significant increase” in its budget to coincide with the service’s 70th birthday, the health secretary has said.

    In an interview with the Guardian, Jeremy Hunt said Prime Minister Theresa May was “unbelievably committed” to “sustainable funding increases”.

    It comes as NHS Trusts in England reported their financial deficits were £960m, nearly twice what was planned.

    Former health minister Lord Darzi said NHS England needed £50bn more by 2030.

    Mr Hunt is lobbying the prime minister for a 4% annual increase in funding to cope with added pressures.

    But according to the Guardian, the Treasury has said anything above 2% or 2.5% is unaffordable.

    Meanwhile:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44392148

    Four new RAF F-35 Lightning stealth fighter jets have landed in the UK.

    The jets, which cost £92m each, made the 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic from a US Marine Corps base in South Carolina.

    The UK’s military has committed to purchasing 138 of the US planes from aviation company Lockheed Martin.



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.