• By Dana Sparks

Science Saturday: Evolution of cardiac regeneration

February 15, 2020

February is American Heart Month, a time to acknowledge advancements in a new generation of care. This year focus is placed on repairing damaged heart tissue and restoring heart function after a heart attack. The Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine is leading research into cardiac regeneration.

Accounting for nearly 20 million of all deaths, heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Currently, there is no way to replace muscle that has died after a heart attack as damage is often irreversible. Mayo Clinic researchers and clinicians are seeking to create innovative and more affordable and accessible cardiac regenerative therapies to restore heart muscle.  

“Cell therapy has pioneered our ability to drive regenerative medicine forward,” says Atta Behfar, M.D., Ph.D., director, Mayo Clinic Van Cleve Cardiac Regenerative Medicine Program in the Center for Regenerative Medicine. “In order to be impactful in the next decade, cardiac regeneration efforts need to overcome current hurdles through innovation and development of new technologies that are both fiscally and logistically realistic.”

With the clinical experience accumulated in cardiovascular regeneration both at Mayo Clinic and globally, we now know that a tailored approach will likely provide the best outcomes. For a heart attack and stroke, which require urgent care, off-the-shelf cell-independent technologies that can be stored right at the bedside may be most effective. In contrast, for more chronic conditions like heart failure where a sustained regenerative impulse is required, cellular or gene-based therapies may provide a more robust end result. As the regenerative toolkit continues to grow, with new modalities to deliver restoring cues to the heart, so will our aptitude in offering new solutions to patients in need.

Read the rest of the article on the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine blog.
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