Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Adult Stem Cells Used to Treat Emergency Heart Attack Patients

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LONDON, United Kingdom, November 8, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Heart attack victims will receive stem cell treatment using cells taken from their own bone marrow, in a breakthrough new technique scheduled to begin trials January in two London hospitals, the Daily Mail reported yesterday.

In research being carried out at University College London Hospital and Barts and the London NHS, Patients suffering a heart attack will undergo regular treatment of an angioplasty to remove blockage to an artery, and then will receive an injection into the artery of stem cells harvested from the bone marrow in their hip, under local anesthetic. The whole procedure will take place within five hours of their attack. The treatment has shown remarkable success in growing heart tissue, in trials in other countries. Doctors hope the technique will lead to repairing damaged heart muscles and preventing further attacks and the development of heart failure.
Only patients who sign a consent form will receive the experimental therapy, headed up by Professor John Martin of the British Heart Foundation and Dr. Anthony Mathur of Barts and the London NHS trust.

“This is the first time in the world that stem cells have been used to stop the damage of acute heart attack,” Professor Martin told the Daily Mail. “It is very exciting. We feel we can make a considerable reduction in deaths and suffering from heart failure.”

The use of adult stem cells or of cells harvested from umbilical cord blood shortly after the birth
of a baby have been used successfully to treat multiple conditions, including spinal injury and blindness. “Because the cells are taken from the patient themselves there are minimal ethical issues surrounding this procedure,” Dr. Mathur said. “There is also less likelihood of rejection complications.”

Stem cell research using human embryonic stem cells, which destroys the embryos, has had no success in treating any disease or disorder despite massive funding support internationally.
This is the second major discovery in non-embryonic stem cell research reported by the Daily Mail in the past two weeks. Last month, a group of British scientists were successful in growing the world’s first artificial human liver late, using stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood.

Read Daily Mail coverage: http://tinyurl.com/ylb5xa

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Human Liver Grown from Cord Blood Stem Cells--Media Ignores UK Breakthroughhttp://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/nov/06110105.html
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