Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Welcome to the 2nd Cologne Conference on Cardiac Regeneration and Cell Therapy. Heart failure and underlying diseases are the most frequent cause of death in adults worldwide. In recent years, cell-based and cell-free regenerative 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 as well as derivatives of pluripotent stem cells have been tested in animal models alone or in combinations as candidates for cardiac repair. Many of these approaches have also been tested in clinical trials. Among cell-free therapeutic products, biomaterials and extracellular vesicles secreted by progenitor cells are also being explored as safer alternatives for cardiac repair. These new cell-free products alone or in combination with cellular therapeutics are now being tested in animal models but have not yet been applied in humans.
Although it is generally accepted that the injection of various cell types or cell-free reagents into the site of tissue injury may exert therapeutic effects, very few regenerative approaches have either proved their efficacy in humans or significantly outperformed standard pharmacological or surgical treatments. Therefore, further research and collaboration across disciplines is necessary to advance the field.
The purpose of this conference is to bring together basic scientists, regulatory experts and clinicians with different backgrounds and expertise in order to exchange ideas and discuss new developments in this important research area. We hope that you will benefit from this conference and wish you a pleasant stay in Cologne.
„This Conference is supported by a grant from the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and sponsored by companies NIPPON Genetics Europe, Miltenyi Biotec, I&L Biosystems and Lonza.”
Tomo Šarić Kurt Pfannkuche