"The medications and interventional therapies available so far are intended only to limit further damage to the heart," said Andreas Zeiher, professor at J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and a senior author of the study.
"In contrast, progenitor cell therapy has the potential not only to limit further damage, but to regenerate heart function," he said.
The improvement was small.
But patients who received the bone marrow cell infusion saw an improvement in their left ventricular ejection fraction -- a measure of heart efficiency -- on average, of 5.5 percent. Those getting placebo saw a 3 percent improvement.
The hearts of treated patients also swelled less and had better blood supply.
More than 200 individuals who had had a heart attack were enrolled in the trial. Half of the participants received infusions of their own bone marrow progenitor cells into their hearts while the other half received placebo infusions.
Both groups had similar left ventricular function (LVEF), a surrogate predictor of a patient's prognosis after a heart attack, at the beginning of the trial: 47 percent in the placebo group and 48 percent in the bone marrow cell group.
What we really need: Therapies that can prevent heart attacks in the first place. In most cases such therapies will involve clearing arterial plaque, prevention of plaque formation, and growth of new blood vessels. You can do some of that now with better diet and statin drugs to lower cholesterol.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2005 November 15 07:26 AM Biotech Stem Cells|