The Search for Ways to Spur Stem Cells into Action

Based on work to date, it should be expected that there are effective ways to provoke existing stem cell populations in the body into greater feats of healing than normally take place. This research is an example of the type: "Injecting proteins similar to insulin directly into the heart can cause damaged cells to repair themselves and begin regenerating again, researchers said. Tests on pigs showed that the dormant cells could begin regrowth following a 'regenerative medicine' treatment using certain growth factors - naturally occurring proteins which cells use to communicate with their environment. Experts from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) said the four-year study presented a 'significantly different' therapy to those currently being developed by scientists. The findings, produced with teams from Italy and Spain, could lead to simple and affordable treatments for heart attacks. ... this new approach by LJMU could ultimately lead to a clinical myocardial regenerative therapy which is effective, simple, affordable, readily and widely available and easy to apply and compatible with the current clinical standard of cardiac care. ... the research shows that injecting growth factors IGF-1 and HGF caused significant 'anatomical, histological and physiological' regeneration of damaged hearts and 'sets the path' for testing clinical trials. Another member of the LJMU BioStem research team, Dr Georgina May Ellison, said funding had been secured for clinical tests of the new method to begin at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona."


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