The prognosis of these patients remains poor because there is currently no treatment that reverses the loss of heart muscle caused by heart attack. At the Institute of Molecular Cardiology (IMC), we have demonstrated that stem cells taken from the patient’s own heart are capable of repairing damage and regenerating new heart muscle — a major discovery that opens exciting therapeutic options and could revolutionize the practice of cardiology.
Discoveries that Make a Difference
More than one million Americans have a heart attack each year, and many die or are permanently disabled. The Institute of Molecular Cardiology is pioneering research to alleviate the damage caused by heart attacks and improve the recovery of the heart. During the past two decades, our work has helped us understand the mechanism of this damage and has identified many promising treatments that may become available to patients.
Next Studies of Stem Cells
To conclusively assess the potential of adult stem cells, we are preparing to launch additional trials as a member of a prestigious network supported by the National Institutes of Health. These trials will advance our quest to revolutionize the treatment of heart failure and offer hope to millions of patients who currently have few or no options. If successful, this would be one of the biggest advances ever in cardiovascular medicine.
The NIH has awarded the IMC a $9.56 million grant to lead a national effort to test promising cardioprotective therapies and identify those that are most effective. With this support, we have joined a network of universities that are working to find a treatment that lessens the severity of heart attacks. This is a true paradigm shift, because for the first time, this basic research in heart disease is done with the same level of rigor as a clinical trial.