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It's becoming old hat that infusions of stem cells from marrow rebuild both heart tissue and vessels after coronaries, something once thought impossible. But a large new German study considered what would happen if the marrow cells were administered shortly after the heart attack, as opposed to waiting until the tissue had already scarred over.
Heart attack survivors infused with stem cells from their own marrow showed nearly twice the improvement in the organ's pumping ability as patients given a placebo. Those who benefited the most were those who had suffered the greatest damage, the researchers said at the American Heart Association annual scientific meeting. The lead author noted that current intervention are "intended only to limit further damage to the heart," while stem cell therapy has the potential not only to limit further damage, but to regenerate heart function."
Meanwhile the number of humans helped in any way, shape, or form by those "miraculous" embyronic stem cells remains at, um, let's see here. Ah, there we go: Zero.