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French stem cell therapy patient doing 'well' after heart operation

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A human embryo clone used in stem cell research.

A novel embryonic stem cell therapy has apparently proved successful as a woman who has received the treatment for a severe heart failure has been reported “well” by doctors.

The patient’s cardiologist, Philippe Menasche of the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, presented the positive results on Friday, saying she was doing “well” three months after her operation in the French capital.

“Today, she is much better. She is well, she is at home, and has resumed normal activity,” Menasche said at the annual meeting of the French Society of Cardiology.

The cardiologist also stated that his team was the first to use human embryonic stem cells to treat heart failure.

In October 2014, juvenile heart cells that had been grown in the lab from human precursor cells were transferred to a damaged part of the 68-year-old woman, who was suffering from a serious heart disease.

Menasche said the female patient has not been diagnosed to have any negative reaction to the cells or immunosuppressant drugs.

The stem cells are extremely versatile and can differentiate into any tissue of the body, and can possibly replace damaged or lost organs.

People with deteriorating eyesight had their vision restored by stem cell therapy.

However, besides the ethical complications, there are controversies that the patient’s immune system may later attack the transplanted cells.


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