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ISCT 2021 | Evolution of cell therapy for cardiovascular disease

Stefan Janssens, MD, PhD, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, describes the evolving landscape of regenerative cell-based therapies for cardiovascular disease. Lessons learned from early clinical studies led to the investigation of whether cardiac repair mechanisms could be modulated by leveraging the paracrine activity of bone marrow-derived MSCs. Given the reduced cardiomyogenic capacity of these cells, it was later deemed that cardiac progenitor cells have a greater capacity for cardiac muscle regeneration, however, at an insufficient level to mediate a clinical effect. There is therefore ongoing research into the potential application of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiac myocytes for the repair of advanced stage of heart failure. This interview took place during the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) Annual Meeting 2021.