How to regenerate a broken heart

Reblogged from Science on the Net

The epidemics of heart failure (HF) represents a challenge for the National Health System: despite advances over the past 30 years, the prognosis for patients who are admitted to hospital with HF remains poor, with a 5 year mortality that is nearly 50%, worse than that for patients with breast or colon cancer. The incidence of HF is dramatically increasing at an unanticipated speed emphasizing the need for novel strategies aiming at the identification of the cause of this devastating disease.

In the last few years, the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Policlinico A. Gemelli, directed by Prof. Filippo Crea, contributed with original research programs in this field. Therefore, the Department has joined the European consortium that designed the clinical trial BAMI (The Effect of intracoronary Reinfusion of Bone Marrow-derived Mononuclear Cells on All Cause Mortality in Acute Myocardial Infarction ), and it will conduct the study as a coordinating center for Italy and European leading center for substudies.

Moreover, as the population continues to age, the demand for costly, age-associated health care will increase rapidly, since elderly individuals are at highest risk for HF. The European program “Horizon 2020: Health, demographic change and well-being” indicated the development of new therapeutic strategies that can bring a benefit in terms of survival and a reduction in the rate of hospitalization in patients with heart failure as an inescapable challenge. In recent years, therefore, regenerative medicine has been seen as a possible resource that can provide a convincing answer to this important socio-medical problem.

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