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Published January 17, 2014, 08:52 PM

Mayo Clinic tests self-healing hearts

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Federal officials will allow the Mayo Clinic to test using stem cells to heal patients' hearts.

By: Forum News Service, INFORUM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Federal officials will allow the Mayo Clinic to test using stem cells to heal patients' hearts.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it approved Mayo for a trial in which 240 patients with severe heart problems will have stem cells from their own hips implanted in their hearts. The procedure is designed to allow the hearts to heal themselves.

"Regenerative medicine is poised to transform the way we treat patients," Mayo's Dr. Andre Terzic said.

Terzic said there is a shortage of hearts to be transplanted, so the new procedure could fill that gap by fixing hearts that otherwise would be replaced. Mayo is looking at a similar procedure to regenerate other organs.

If tests are successful, the stem cell procedure probably would not be widely available before 2017.

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