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New Therapy Aims at Mending Broken Hearts

Posted - Nov. 6, 2003 at 1:40 p.m.



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WASHINGTON, Nov 06, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- International researchers report encouraging signs from a new kind of therapy aimed at doing something long thought impossible: mending broken hearts.

Purpose of the experimental procedure is to grow new heart muscle through the injection of healing cells into a damaged heart from other parts of the body. It is hoped the cells would take root and develop into healthy muscle.

It has only been tested directly in people in a handful of studies in Europe, the United States and Brazil, each involving a dozen or so patients at most. But, so far the results have been tantalizingly promising, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

A spate of new positive results will be presented next week at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Florida. If all continues to go well, some experts are speculating, cell therapy for heart disease could become standard within five years.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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