Stem cell therapy can be beneficial in heart failure says Expert


3NewZNew (S A S Nagar) : Dr. Deepak Puri, Director-Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mohali was invited as faculty at the 2-day National Conference of Stem Cell Society of India at India International Center, Delhi recently. The conference highlighted the significant progress in stem cell research (SCR) besides the need for setting up guidelines to prevent malpractices in the medical field and different aspects of SCT and regenerative medicine.

Interestingly, Dr Puri was the only speaker representing cardiovascular sciences  at the conference. He spoke on ‘Regenerative Therapy (RT) in Cardiac Surgery’ and discussed about the possibility of enhancing heart function by using stem cells along with cardiac bypass.

In his speech , Dr Puri highlighted the promising role of stem cells in treating patients with refractory angina and heart failure. He said that India has the highest prevalence of heart failure patients in world. Ironically the treatment options of heart transplant and artificial heart assist devices were far from reach of Indian patients because of paucity of donor hearts and huge cost involved. In fact SCT and RT were the only hope which could save millions of heart failure patients in India.”

He said further, SCT has the potential to restore normal function to the failing heart by regenerating the dead muscle , promoting new blood vessel formation and stimulating  growth factors and immune  mechanisms . Though the different type of stem cells have been tested in animals and humans in innumerable trials across the globe in past but it was still not clear what type of cells and in what dose and delivered through which route would give optimum results, he remarked.

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RT along with gene therapy would hold the key to management of most of the terminal diseases which did not have any cure. The reason why regenerative medicine has not attained its  potential  was the extensive restrictions in clinical use of these cells within the domain of clinical trials and the strict regulations, pointed out Dr. Puri.

Restoring blood supply by bypass surgery could improve viable muscle. However if we could also inject stem cells into the muscle which was already dead and would make these cells regenerate into new heart muscle with blood vessels, we would be able to improve the function of the heart and treat heart failure, asserted Dr Puri.

Ironically the tedious protocols along with the legal hassles would prevent most of the Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons from using this potentially beneficial modality for treating heart failure.”

In his speech, Dr Puri appealed to the Society and regulating authorities as well to take appropriate steps to simplify the guidelines in order to facilitate RT for wider application.

Meanwhile the conference was attended by 200 participants from across India and reputed faculties from California and Czech Republic as well.


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