BRUSSELS, July 5 (RIA Novosti) - Surgeons in Belgium have carried out the world's first ever operation to implant a cardiac muscle made from a patient's bone marrow, the Belgian news channel VRT reported on Sunday.
The unique operation was carried out as part of a U.S.-led global research project to develop methods for replacing damaged heart tissue using stem ceils.
Acute heart attacks destroy up to 50% of a cardiac muscle's cells. Until now, heart failure patients have been treated with medication or a defibrillator implant.
Medical experts say cell-based technology opens strong prospects for the treatment of cardiac disease, and in some cases could prevent the need for heart transplants.
However, Doctor Mathias Vrolix, who carried out the surgery, said that at least twelve months had to pass to be sure that the operation was effective.