Cardiac cellular therapies are undergoing global clinical trials with encouraging early results and these economical options will soon be available in India which could bring relief to patients who cannot afford the currently available expensive surgical treatments, says Indian American cardiac surgeon Dr Mukesh Hariawala.

 Delivering a special invited plenary lecture on the Novel Cellular Therapies for Heart Disease at the recently concluded Healthcare India 2012 convention in New Delhi, the renowned cardiac surgeon asserted that the new developments in cardiac cellular therapies would bring down the alarming healthcare costs globally.

Dr Hariawala is internationally acclaimed as a pioneer of cardiovascular surgical techniques using Therapeutic Angiogenesis. He said Therapeutic Angiogenesis is a fast emerging science of stimulating growth of new blood vessels in the heart which acts as natural bypasses to areas lacking in blood supply.

Dr Hariawala demonstrated angiogenesis along with bypass surgery, lasers and stem cell injections as a novel Combo Therapy.

The laser energy acts by creating channels in the diseased heart muscle which also triggers Angiogenesis.  Stem cells are then injected directly into coronary arteries feeding the diseased territory or in the stimulated lasered muscle during the open heart surgery. This option could be very helpful in Indian patients with diffused distal small caliber coronary arteries and diabetes, who are not amicable to routinely offered current interventions, he said.

Dr Hariawala acknowledged that only a combination of these four therapies could give it the Therapeutic Threshold Power and bring about optimum results and relief of patients symptoms.  Standalone, each of these therapies is weak to treat a large muscular pumping organ like the heart.

Stem cells have a therapeutic role and hold enormous promise for the future as they are harvested from the patient's own tissues.  Currently, adult stem cell extraction is done from one's own hip bone and patients do not have to worry about rejection phenomenon occurring as they are native cells unlike transplanted from another donor. In the future, stem cell banks could proliferate allowing donors to freeze and store cells for family members who could be treated for many diseases, he added.

Harvard-trained Dr Hariawala's studies have been published in several scientific surgical journals and medical text books.