Israeli Scientists Transform Patient's Skin Cells into Healthy Heart-Muscle Cells
Medical breakthrough can make possible to repair patient's organ with own tissue
By: Kristen Hallam
Published: May 23rd, 2012 in Health » Israel
Israeli scientists for the first time succeeded in transforming the skin cells of heart-failure patients into healthy heart-muscle cells, suggesting that it may be possible to repair the organ with a person’s own tissue.
The cells from two men with the disease, once genetically reprogrammed, were able to blend in with healthy heart tissue in rats, scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, wrote today in the European Heart Journal, a publication of the European Society of Cardiology. Testing the cells in human hearts may be as long as a decade away, as scientists hone the technique in animal studies, they said.
The finding points to a novel potential source of stem cells, the building blocks of life which can grow into any type of tissue in the body. Using skin cells from the patient would avoid the difficulty of obtaining stem cells from embryos and may limit the risk that the patient’s immune system would reject the transplant, which can occur with cells taken from healthy people and given to the sick, the researchers said....Continues