Authored by Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease Director Deepak Srivastava, MD, and Gladstone Institutes postdoctoral scholar Kathryn Ivey, PhD, the paper cites a better understanding of the following areas of research:
"The use of stem cells to generate replacement cells for damaged heart muscle, valves, vessels and conduction cells holds great potential," says Srivastava, who is also a UCSF professor of pediatrics and the Wilma and Adeline Pirag Distinguished Professor in Pediatric Developmental Cardiology. "Although there are clearly many obstacles to overcome, it is significant that a roadmap of the derivation and use of stem cells for human heart disease is now conceivable."
In the Nature article, Srivastava and Ivey point to several challenges ahead:
"Exciting new findings over the past 5 years indicate that stem cells could prove effective as protective or regenerative cardiac therapies," says Ivey, who was named in April one of seven current postdoctoral fellows participating in the Gladstone's new stem cell training program, funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. "The adult heart seems to have reservoirs of cardiac progenitor cells--adult stem cells that are destined to become cardiovascular cells--that may be able to replace a slow loss of cells over a lifetime. The coming years will undoubtedly bring new developments and technologies to unravel these processes, leading to clinical applications of stem cell-based therapies for heart disease."