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Cologne Conference on Cardiac Regeneration and Cell Therapy
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Cologne Conference on Cardiac Regeneration and Cell Therapy

13. - 14.  Mai 2011 - Hotel Azimut Köln


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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to the 1st Cologne Conference on Cardiac Regeneration and Cell Therapy 2011. Heart failure and underlying diseases are the most frequent cause of death in adults worldwide. In recent years, cell-based tissue repair approaches have been extensively explored as a promising alternative to existing pharmacological and surgical therapies for these conditions. Different types of stem cells of adult and embryonic origin have been tested in animal models as candidates for cardiac cell replacement therapy. Adult stem cells derived from bone marrow were among the first to enter clinical trials but their therapeutic potency is still a matter of debate. Embryonic stem cells have been regarded as a valuable source of therapeutic cells. However, unresolved ethical concerns, their allogeneic nature and variable yield of differentiated cells seriously hampered their use for human therapy. With emergence in recent years of autologous and ethically less controversial induced pluripotent stem cells, the hope that they may be more suitable for clinical use increased dramatically.

However, despite these ground-breaking achievements the development of new cell-based treatment strategies will require further research and concerted action of different scientific disciplines ranging from molecular, cell and developmental biology, immunology, radiology, surgery, biotechnology, bioengineering to chemistry, physics, ethics and regulatory affairs. Only in this way it may be possible to produce sufficient amounts of pure, safe, affordable and therapeutically potent stem cell derivatives for the benefit of patients suffering from heart disease. Future research in this extremely dynamic and multidisciplinary field will determine whether the regenerative approach will be part of evidence based cardiac therapy in the future.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together basic scientists and clinicians with different backgrounds and expertises in order to exchange ideas and discuss new developments in this important research area. The meeting focuses on cell-based approaches for cardiac repair and issues that must be addressed to allow their clinical translation. We hope that you will benefit from this conference and wish you a pleasant stay in Cologne.

Yours sincerely,

Tomo Saric       Jochen Müller-Ehmsen       Yeong-Hoon Choi