Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can Stem Cells Heal Damaged Hearts? No Easy Answers, But Some Signs Of Hope

Date:
October 9, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Recent studies indicate that infusing hearts with stem cells taken from bone marrow could improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (tissue damage that results from a heart attack). But in a recent systematic review researchers concluded that more clinical trials are needed to assess the effectiveness of stem cell therapies for heart patients, as well as studies to establish how these treatments work.

Recent studies indicate that infusing hearts with stem cells taken from bone marrow could improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction (tissue damage that results from a heart attack). But in a recent systematic review, Cochrane Researchers concluded that more clinical trials are needed to assess the effectiveness of stem cell therapies for heart patients, as well as studies to establish how these treatments work.

In a heart attack, blocked arteries can cut off the blood supply to areas of heart tissue. This leads to myocardial infarction - severe tissue damage caused by lack of oxygen, which is transported in the blood.

"We need more studies that look at the long term effects of these interventions, as well as at the types of cells that are used and how they actually repair the heart tissue," says lead researcher Dr. Enca Martin-Rendon, who works in the Stem Cell Research Department, NHS Blood and Transplant, at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK.

The team drew together data from 13 different trials involving 811 patients. Although these trials show that treatment with bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) may lead to a moderate improvement in cardiac function, the researchers say there is still not enough evidence to confirm this. They also found that BMSC treatment did not reduce the measurable area of damaged heart tissue.

Only three trials looked to see if effects lasted for more than six months after BMSC treatment. The researchers discovered that in these trials, there was no evidence of any benefit 12 months after treatment.

Quite how BMSCs cause this short term benefit is uncertain. One theory is that they enable extra blood vessels to develop, while another is that they release chemicals that encourage the growth of healthy heart muscle cells while decreasing the development of scar tissue in the damaged area.

"If it turns out these treatments are beneficial in any way, they could be made available to all heart attack patients. We think infusion with stem cells may help increase blood flow into damaged heart tissues, but without more investment in this area of research, we can't be sure," says Martin-Rendon.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Can Stem Cells Heal Damaged Hearts? No Easy Answers, But Some Signs Of Hope." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192443.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, October 9). Can Stem Cells Heal Damaged Hearts? No Easy Answers, But Some Signs Of Hope. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192443.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Can Stem Cells Heal Damaged Hearts? No Easy Answers, But Some Signs Of Hope." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192443.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins