Saturday, April 14, 2007

Indian American launches stem cell treatment of heart disease

New York, March 23 (IANS) An Indian American cardiologist in Wisconsin is running a pioneering trial of using stem cells to treat heart diseases, the initial results of which have been “encouraging”.

Amish Raval, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his team of cardiologists began their trial on March 7.

“If it (using stem cells for cardiac disease) works, it could revolutionize cardiology,” said Raval.

Stem cells are primal cells common to all multi-cellular organisms that retain the ability to renew themselves through cell division and can differentiate into a wide range of specialised cell types.

“The initial results from phase I of the trial were encouraging. Subjects reported feeling better with reductions in chest pain and improved exercise capacity during the early stage of the trial. That’s encouraging to us,” Raval said.

Injecting stem cells isolated from a person’s own blood into an ailing heart can repair years of accumulated decay.

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