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U Of L Doctors Perform Stem Cell Procedure

From WFPL's Stephanie SandersDoctors at Jewish Hospital have performed one of the first infusions of adult stem cells into a patient’s heart. 66-year-old Louisvillian Mike Jones is the recipient the new treatment.Doctors from Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville harvested a small portion of Jones’s heart in March. It was sent to a lab to cultivate already-existing stem cells from his own heart and grow them at a rapid rate. Those stem cells were injected back into Jones’s heart July 17th. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Slaughter says Jones was a great candidate for the test.“He had several heart attacks, he had very poor heart function. Physically, he was very limited. In several years, most likely, his only option would be transplant or potentially a mechanical heart," he says.Researchers hope the injected stem cells will perform their natural function, but at a more rapid rate, and repair the damaged muscle in Jones’s heart. The trial is approved for up to 19 more patients to have the same therapy.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.