Progenitor/stem cell transplantation for repair of myocardial infarction: Hype or hope?
Despite significant therapeutic advances, heart failure remains the predominant cause of mortality worldwide. Currently, progenitor/stem cell biology holds great promise for a new era of cell-based therapy for salvaging the failing heart. However, the translational arm of progenitor/stem cell science is in a relatively primitive state. For the time being, the clinical trials have been both encouraging and disappointing. How to improve the engraftment, long-term survival and appropriate differentiation of transplanted progenitor/stem cell within the cardiovascular tissues may be the key issues to facilitate the transition of cardiogenic stem cell research from bench to bedside. In this review article we discuss the state-of-the-art in adult stem cell therapies for cardiovascular diseases and approaches to release cardiac regeneration potentials of progenitor/stem cells.