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Japan:Doctors succeed in regenerative medicine for baby

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Laaska News  May 24,2011

Doctors in western Japan say they’ve improved an infant’s heart function through regenerative medicine for the first time ever.

The group of doctors from Okayama University Hospital reported the success at a news conference on Tuesday.

In March, the doctors removed muscle cells from the heart of the 13-month-old girl, who was suffering from an undersized left ventricle.

The doctors then cultured and multiplied the cells, and transplanted new cells to the girl’s heart late last month.

They say examinations on Tuesday showed that the size of the girl’s heart muscle and the amount of blood pumped by her heart both increased by about 10 percent.

The hospital says the success is the first ever to be confirmed in regenerative medical treatment for infants.

A member of the group, Dr. Shunji Sano, told reporters that if all goes well, the girl’s heart function should improve further, allowing her to live a normal life. Sano added that he hopes to continue research to eliminate the need for organ transplants.

NHK.

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