Can You Regenerate Your Heart after Heart Attack with Your Own Stem Cells?

Emory physicians are conducting research on how to use heart stem cells to help regenerate heart muscle in individuals who have experienced a heart attack. This effort is looking at ways stem cells can replace damaged heart cells and restore cardiac function.

Heart attack survivor Don Robinson was involved in a phase I clinical trial at Emory to test if his own stem cells would help regenerate his heart. For this, stem cells were taken from his body during a bone marrow transplant.

Clinicians involved in the trial are working to find cells that are likely to enhance blood vessel formation and protect the heart muscle from further damage. Mr. Robinson was given 10,000,000 cells after the heart attack, but before the scaring could take place. Scans performed as part of the study now show that Mr. Robinson’s heart has regenerated.

Emory is continually leading the way for advanced new treatments for heart disease. The phase I trial was testing safety of this procedure, but a phase II trial will soon begin at Emory to test this procedure further.

To learn more about Mr. Robinson’s experience, view the full story here.

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