Stem cell, heart heath study

HOUSTON –

Doctors from the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital have found that patients with heart failure may be able to repair the damaged areas of the heart with stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow.

Doctors presented the findings at the American College of Cardiologys 61st Annual Scientific Session Saturday.

The results are from a multi-center clinical study that measured the possible benefits of using a patients own bone marrow cells to repair damaged areas of the heart suffering from severe heart failure, a condition that affects millions of Americans.

The study, which was the largest such investigation to date, found that the hearts of the patients receiving bone marrow derived stem cells showed a small but significant increase in the ability to pump oxygenated blood from the left ventricle, the hearts main pumping chamber, to the body.

The expectation is that the study will pave the way for potential new treatment options and will be important to designing and evaluating future clinical trials.

This is exactly the kind of information we need to move forward with the clinical use of stem cell therapy, said Emerson Perin, MD, PhD, Director of Clinical Research for Cardiovascular Medicine at THI, and one of the studys lead investigators.

The bone-marrow derived stem cells are helpful to the injured heart when they are themselves biologically active, added Dr. James T. Willerson, the studys principal investigator and President and Medical Director of THI.

This study moves us one step closer to being able to help patients with severe heart failure who have no other alternatives.

The study was conducted by the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network, the national consortium to conduct such research funded by the National Institutes of Healths National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Stem cell, heart heath study