Research at May Clinic

Mending a Broken Heart

07.16.13 | By Preet Bilinski

I’m not talking about a broken heart from love, but rather from heart disease. A recent article in Everyday Health discusses researchers at Mayo Clinic training stem cells harvested from a person’s bone marrow to become heart cells, by treating them with certain proteins that trigger heart development. The new heart cells can be injected into the patient’s own heart to replace tissue that has been damaged by a heart attack or disease. Because they are the patient’s own cells, the immune system does not mount an attack.

An international team of doctors recently tried this technique on a patient. Miroslav Dlacic was a fighter pilot in Serbia, but heart failure had left him unable to walk. Just a few months after stem cell treatment he was back on his feet and feeling strong. You can hear more in this video featuring Dr. Sanjay Gupta. 

The study’s senior author, Andre Terzic, MD, Phd of Mayo Clinic said, “This study helps us move beyond the science fiction notion of research."

We continue to be impressed by Dr. Terzic’s work. He was recently recognized by the PhRMA Foundation with an Award in Excellence. The Awards in Excellence honor past PhRMA Foundation awardees who have gone on to distinguish themselves through their scientific and/or academic achievements. Dr. Andre Terzic received a fellowship award in clinical pharmacology from the PhRMA Foundation in 1991. Over 20 years later, he was honored by the PhRMA Foundation for his work in advancing the field of clinical pharmacology.

You can learn more about innovative medicines in the pipeline and recent scientific advances in treating cardiovascular disease, such as a gene therapy that uses a patient’s own cells to treat heart failure; a medicine that blocks the transfer of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL); and a genetically-engineered medicine that dissolves clots to treat stroke in our latest Medicines in Development report on Heart Disease and Stroke.





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