Stem cells might help body recover from heart attack

February 14, 2012 2:52:02 PM PST
Scientists say we are one step closer to using our own stem cells to reverse heart attack damage.

In a small early study, heart damage was reversed in heart attack patients treated with their own cardiac stem cells. The cells regrew damaged heart muscle and reversed scarring one year later.

Up until now, the best way to minimize damage following a heart attack has been to surgically clear blocked arteries.

In this study, doctors dissolved scar and replaced it with living heart muscle. They say such therapeutic regeneration has long been the holy grail of cell therapy but had never been accomplished before.

The study is in the journal The Lancet.