First Heart Surgery Performed Using Ips Cells

First heart surgery performed using iPS cells

A Japanese group of researchers says it has conducted heart surgery using sheets of heart muscle cells made from iPS cells.

Induced pluripotent stem cells are created from reprogrammed human cells and can develop into various kinds of body tissue.

The Osaka University team, led by Professor Yoshiki Sawa, aims to establish a treatment for patients with serious heart disease by restoring the organ's function. The team's surgery involves putting sheets of heart muscle cells derived from iPS in a patient's heart.

At a news conference on Monday, the team announced that they successfully performed the world's first surgery of its kind this month.

They said the patient had been suffering from ischemic cardiomyopathy and it was difficult for the patient to recover with treatments through internal medicine using drugs.

The latest surgery was done as a clinical trial to develop a new treatment method. The group will verify the method's safety and effectiveness over one year and plans to conduct operations on nine other patients over a three-year period.

Professor Sawa said he hopes the technique will save as many patients as possible. He said he hopes the method will be used for patients who have no options with internal medicine and before they need an artificial heart or a heart transplant.