For the first time, a Utah hospital will begin injecting bone marrow stem cells directly into a patient's heart during open heart surgery. The clinical trial is the first stage for what could become self-repair for a failing heart.
"They'll have their own bone marrow harvested. Stem cells will come over to this new facility and be processed for a purified layer of cells containing stem cells. We'll put them directly into the heart during the operation," says Dr. George Reiss a thoracic surgeon.
This first trial is at Salt Lake Veteran's hospital, while this first trial evaluates mostly at safety, follow up trials will test whether stem cells from bone marrow are actually converting to heart muscle cells. If so, an artificial assist pump could temporarily take over the workload of a patient's own failing heart - allowing it to rest, while the converted stem cells repair the damage. The patient's own heart, in essence, repairs itself! and if it works on the heart ,why not the kidneys, pancreas, or damaged or severed nerves.