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Atta Behfar, MD, PhD

As people age, their stem cells also age, diminishing their functionality. Many studies conducted to determine the efficacy of cardiac stem cell therapy have used donor cells from younger patients. These cells are healthy and readily adopt the cardiogenic phenotype in which researchers are interested. The problem with that approach, however, is that in clinical trials, researchers want to use patients stem cells, but they cant expect to have similar results as with younger donor cells. The answer is to find a way to manipulate autologous cells so they regain their youthful function.

As people age, their stem cells also age, diminishing their functionality. Many studies conducted to determine the efficacy of cardiac stem cell therapy have used donor cells from younger patients. These cells are healthy and readily adopt the cardiogenic phenotype researchers are interested in. The problem with that approach, however, is that in clinical trials, researchers want to use patients' stem cells, but they can't expect to have similar results as with younger donor cells. The answer is to find a way to manipulate autologous cells so they regain their "youthful" function.
Author: Atta Behfar, MD