Stem cell therapy boon for patients

by Simran Virk ,  India Times | 2010-07-23

LUDHIANA: Holding out a ray of hope for cardiac patients, renowned cardiac surgeon Naresh Trehan said 30% of the patients are working well after getting new stem cell therapy.

Dr Trehan, who is also MD and chairman of Medanta, added not only in the trials but in the actual number of cases 30% of the patients had been successful in recovering from the cardiac problem where the hope was negligible. He added that it had been seen that those patients, who even used to feel short of breath while walking for a short distance, were now leading normal life.

‘‘The patients, who were injected with stem cells, we have seen new arteries growing in the damaged cell areas. A scientific paper on this has been accepted by the International Cardiac Surgery,’’ said Dr Trehan.

However, till now the doctors were saying that it was a trial stage but now the doctors were claiming that it was a promising treatment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that India was set to be the heart disease capital of the world by 2010 accounting for 60% of the world’s cardiac patients. Nine per cent of the victims of a major heart attack die in India, compared to about 6% in the developed world due to lack of attention and facilities.

Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have two defining properties: the ability to differentiate into other cells and the ability to self-regenerate. The ability to differentiate is the potential to develop into other cell types and self-regeneration is the ability of stem cells to divide and produce more stem cells.