The Reference and Translation Center for Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy (RTC) was founded in 2008 on the initiative of Prof. Dr. Gustav Steinhoff, heart surgeon and scientist at the University Medical Center Rostock, as one of the five translation centers for regenerative medicine in Germany which are funded by both by the federal and the state government. The RTC is hosted by the Biomedical Research Center (BMFZ) Rostock.
At the RTC high-performance medicine is being conducted. With focus on cardiovascular diseases innovative approaches for stem cell therapies are being developed in labs applying most modern molecular- and cell biological investigation methods and evaluating them in animal models – frequently in cooperation with industry partners. Following the demonstration of safety and efficacy in the clinical study center of the RTC the new therapies are being integrated into the patient care activities of the Clinic for Heart Surgery.
The concept of the RTC includes all translation steps in the scope of both development and manufacturing of stem cell products as well as treatment of patients in a standardized and quality-assured manner according to the legal requirements of “Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products”. Accordingly, the RTC takes the position as a reference centre.
Genetic code for stem cell heart repair
A research team from Germany and Japan published in the LANCET journal EBioMedicine a new highly specific gene expression code controlling stem cell response for heart repair after infarction. Using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms they were able to detect specific variations in bone marrow stem cells by transcriptome deep sequencing of peripheral blood cells. In the studied patients with arteriosclerotic disease and heart failure they found advanced somatic mutations in blood associated with altered stem cell functions.
Arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction and heart failure are a prime cause of disease and death worldwide. The genetic cause of disease and mechanisms of repair by stem cells has not been unraveled so far. The new findings show that stem cell senescence by multiple acquired mutations cause defects in myocardial perfusion repair. This mechanism may be a major cause of progressive heart failure and cardiovascular disease...
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