December 08, 2009
Stem Cells Cut Heart Attack Recurrence Risk

Stem cells injected into a heart artery after a heart attack cut the risk of heart attack recurrence in humans.

DALLAS, Dec. 8, 2009 — Cells from heart attack survivors’ own bone marrow reduced the risk of death or another heart attack when they were infused into the affected artery after successful stent placement, according to research reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

Benefits found early in the Reinfusion of Enriched Progenitor Cells And Infarct Remodeling in Acute Myocardial Infarction (REPAIR-AMI) trial could last for at least two years, researchers said.

“More research is needed, but this gives us a hint of what might be possible with this new treatment — prevention of another heart attack and of rehospitalization for heart failure, both life-threatening complications,” said Birgit Assmus, M.D., first author of the study and assistant professor of cardiology at J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

We are still in the year 2009 and stem cell experiments for modest heart repair are yielding promising results. When will heart repair with stem cells after a heart attack become standard practice? 2020? 2025?

Stem cells and gene therapy can do limb repair in mice whose extremities lack sufficient oxygen.

Blood vessel blockage, a common condition in old age or diabetes, leads to low blood flow and results in low oxygen, which can kill cells and tissues. Such blockages can require amputation resulting in loss of limbs. Now, using mice as their model, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed therapies that increase blood flow, improve movement and decrease tissue death and the need for amputation. The findings, published online last week in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, hold promise for developing clinical therapies.

"In a young, healthy individual, hypoxia — low oxygen levels — triggers the body to make factors that help coordinate the growth of new blood vessels but this process doesn't work as well as we age," says Gregg Semenza, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and genetic medicine and director of the vascular biology program at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. "Now, with the help of gene therapy and stem cells we can help reactivate the body's response to hypoxia and save limbs."

Injected stem cells and gene therapy partially restored blood flow in mice whose blood flow had been reduced.

Previously, Semenza's team generated a virus that carries the gene encoding an active form of the HIF-1 protein, which turns on genes necessary for building new blood vessels. When injected into the hind legs of otherwise healthy mice and rabbits that had been treated to reduce blood flow, the HIF-1 virus treatment partially restored blood flow.

We are starting to live in the science fiction future.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 December 08 10:10 PM  Biotech Stem Cells


Comments
Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

                       
Go Read More Posts On FuturePundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright ©