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Trials 'may Cure Heart Attacks'

Tia

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Nov 10, 2004
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Patient trials have started that may pave the way to the first cure for heart attacks using stem cells, it has emerged.

The move follows the successful treatment of pigs with adult stem cells transplanted from bone marrow. In just two months, stem cells injected into the pigs' damaged hearts restored their function by 50% to 75%.

Two patients have already been enrolled into a follow-up human trial launched by US scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

A total of 48 heart attack patients will ultimately take part in the phase 1 study, which is designed to test the safety of injecting adult stem cells into their hearts.

Stem cells can be transformed into different types of tissue in the body. Those taken from early-stage embryos have the potential to become any kind of tissue, while the scope of those from adults is much more limited.

Previous studies have shown that adult stem cells from the bone marrow, which normally produce blood cells, can also become heart muscle cells.

The Johns Hopkins scientists took stem cells from the bone marrow of one pig to treat another animal injured by a heart attack.

They used a special kind of stem cell in an early stage of development to avoid the problem of immune system rejection.

Professor Joshua Hare, who led the study, said: "Ultimately, the goal is to develop a widely applicable treatment to repair and reverse the damage done to heart muscle that has been infarcted, or destroyed, after losing its blood supply.

Link... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1797
 
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