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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama 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:
from the past week

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