First time iPS has been applied to heart disease. Previously it was used in Parkinsons, sickle cell anemia and hemophilia A.
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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:18 PM
Heart failure occurs when a damaged heart is weakened
and unable to pump enough blood around the body
"If these results hold up in future studies, I believe this could be the biggest revolution in cardiovascular medicine in my lifetime, " said an impressed Professor Bolli.The "Schipio" trial included a total of 23 patients, all of whom suffered heart failure due to a previous heart attack. Seven of these received standard care while the other sixteen were assigned to stem cell therapy. The groundbreaking treatment involved extracting cardiac stem cells (CSCs) from patients during bypass surgery. CSCs are self-renewing cells that rebuild hearts and arteries. After a purification process and a period of growth in the laboratory, the cardiac stem cells are then injected back into damaged regions of the patient's hearts four months later. A million of these CSCs were injected into each patient via a balloon catheter, an expandable device used to open up arteries.
"Michael Jones, our first patient, could barely walk 30 feet [before treatment]," Dr. John H. Loughran said. "I saw him this morning. He says he plays basketball with his granddaughter, works on his farm, and gets on the treadmill for 30 minutes three times a week. It is stories like that that makes these results really encouraging."These findings are published in the online edition of The Lancet medical journal and will be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in Orlando, Florida. Now, Professor Bolli and his team intend on applying for funding a much bigger, multi-centre Phase II trial.
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Quote:Biotechnology firm Geron said last night that it would discontinue its stem-cell research program and halt a pioneering clinical study in people with spinal-cord injury. The decision brings to a halt the world's largest and longest-running program to develop medical treatments from embryonic stem cells, versatile cells able to form many other types of human tissue.
The company denied it had given up on stem cells for scientific reasons. "We're not doing this because we were souring on the field, or as a result of any problems - we have not had any safety issues at all," Scarlett told Bloomberg news.
The attempt to study stem cells in humans had proved stupendously expensive and slow-moving for Geron. The company estimated that it spent $45 million just to win FDA approval for the initial safety trial of its treatment, known as GRNOPC1. As of October, however, only four patients had been treated, and the company would have had to spend tens of millions more in order to finish the study.
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Edited by Florin Clapa, 18 November 2011 - 03:58 AM.
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