From: a biology nerd and friends.
Scientists have raised hope that stem cell therapy could provide significant relief for patients disabled by untreatable chest pain.
Patients with severe angina had stem cells from their blood injected into their heart.
The therapy, carried out by Chicago’s Northwestern University, halved the number of bouts of angina chest pain.
But UK experts have stressed the work is still at an early stage, and the potential longer benefit is unknown.
The procedure may also carry a risk: it is suspected of causing heart muscle damage in two patients, and others reported bone and chest pain.
The study, reported in the journal Circulation Research, was carried out on 167 patients with “refraction” angina, which does not respond to any standard treatment.
They were given high or low dose stem cell infusions, or a dummy injection.
A year on, patients in the low-dose group had an average of 6.3 episodes of pain a week, compared to 11 a week for those given the placebo jab.
It translates as going from being able to walk slowly to being able to ride a bike.”Professor Douglas LosordoNorthwestern University
The length of time they were able to tolerate exercise also improved by 139 seconds after six months, compared to an improvement of 69 seconds for the placebo group.
There was no significant benefit from receiving a higher dose of stem cells.
Lead researcher Professor Douglas Losordo said: “The net difference in exercise tolerance is highly clinically significant, particularly in a patient population that is severely limited by symptoms.
“It translates as going from being able to watch television to being able to walk at a normal pace or going from being able to walk slowly to being able to ride a bike.”
Interesting article! Along with the heart patients area, there is this article on NPR that I remember hearing about a few weeks ago where doctors have come up with a no-pulse artificial heart that makes you reconsider the necessities for life.
An image taken with a scanning electron microscope of a human mesenchymal stem cell growing on a plate of long microposts approximately 13 microns in length. After one day of culturing, this cell exerts centripetal force, which can be seen in the bending of the microposts. This cell will differentiate into a fat cell.
Credit: Jianping Fu