Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Year End Cardiac Advances

As 2007 draws to a close, researchers in UK and also USA have reported their ability to grow new blood vessels. This is certainly an important step in regenerative medicine. Blood supply forms the basis of all tissue and organs. The UK researchers were able to grow heart arteries for potential use in coronary bypass patients, and the US researchers were able to grow capillaries which can improve blood flow to tissues. Looks like the researchers have found a means (hopefully reliable) to grow endothelial cells from the "Endothelial Progenitor Cells", a concept also used in a type of coronary stent. The combination of both the research would mean that we will soon have the means to artificially produce big and small blood vessels, customized for the patient. Ischemic organs will then be a thing of the past.

Although we are very excited about these end of year reports, we must bear in mind that these are reports, and much work still has to be done. Nothing is ready, or even almost ready for "primetime" as we call it. Consider that the reports were from both sides of the big pond and that surely is an important plus point. Even as we work hard on preventing heart disease, which must always be our first priority, we take note of this important advance in regenerative medicine. I am certain that we can look forward to more news about this area of clinical research in 2008. Year 2007 certainly close on a very promising note.

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