Myocardial regeneration protocols towards the routine clinical scenario: An unseemly path from bench to bedside

Nadia Salerno, Luca Salerno, Fabiola Marino, Mariangela Scalise, Antonio Chiefalo, Giuseppe Panuccio,  Antonella De Angelis, Eleonora Cianflone, Konrad Urbanek, Daniele Torella


Volume 50, August 2022, 101530

Summary. Heart failure secondary to cardiomyocyte loss and/or dysfunction is the number one killer worldwide. The field of myocardial regeneration with its far-reaching primary goal of cardiac remuscularization and its hard-to-accomplish translation from bench to bedside, has been filled with ups and downs, steps forward and steps backward, controversies galore and, unfortunately, scientific scandals. Despite the present morass in which cardiac remuscularization is stuck in, the search for clinically effective regenerative approaches remains keenly active. Starting with a concise overview of the still highly debated regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian heart, we focus on the main interventions, that have reached or are close to clinical use, critically discussing key findings, successes, and failures. Finally, some promising and innovative approaches for myocardial repair/regeneration still at the pre-clinical stage are discussed to offer a holistic view on the future of myocardial repair/regeneration for the prevention/management of heart failure in the clinical scenario.