Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How experimental regenerative medicine therapies can regrow damaged heart muscle

Date:
June 17, 2014
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
Stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease isn’t a medical pipe dream – it’s a reality today, although patients need to better understand the complex science behind these experimental treatments, according to a Chief of Cardiology. Most people today "get our information from sound bites," and the issues surrounding stem cells are too complex to be fully explained in a single catchy phrase, he said, adding, "We have far too much controversy about stem cells and far too much hype."

Stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease isn’t a medical pipe dream – it’s a reality today, although patients need to better understand the complex science behind these experimental treatments, according to Timothy D. Henry, MD, chief of Cardiology for the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.
Credit: Cedars-Sinai

Stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease isn't a medical pipe dream -- it's a reality today, although patients need to better understand the complex science behind these experimental treatments, according to the chief of Cardiology for the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

In a 17-minute TEDxGrandForks talk, Timothy D. Henry, MD, known for his innovative work in developing stem cell treatments for advanced heart disease patients, said he understands why so many are confused about the latest scientific findings. This video can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD0HSFe3mrY

Most people today "get our information from sound bites," and the issues surrounding stem cells are too complex to be fully explained in a single catchy phrase, Henry said, adding, "We have far too much controversy about stem cells and far too much hype."

Stem cell science has become "a political dividing line" with many opposing research into stem cells derived from human embryos, Henry said. However, he said, today's leading-edge clinical research focuses on stem cells derived from adults that can be scientifically programmed to become a specialized cell, such as a heart cell or a brain cell, thereby avoiding the ethical questions involved in embryonic research.

"Very few of the cells we give actually become muscle or actually become blood vessels," Henry said. "What they do … is increase growth factors" and encourage natural cells in the body to generate new, healthy tissue."

The Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, directed by Eduardo Marbαn, MD, PhD, is a world leader in studying the use of stem cells to regenerate heart muscle in patients who have had heart attacks. In 2009, Cedars-Sinai physicians conducted the first infusion of stem cells into heart attack patients, using stem cells grown from the patients' own heart tissue. The resulting study, published in February 2012 in The Lancet, showed that patients who underwent the stem cell procedure experienced a significant reduction in the size of the scar left behind by a heart attack. Patients also experienced a sizable increase in healthy heart muscle following the experimental stem cell treatments.

Currently, Henry is co-directing a new stem cell study with Raj Makkar, MD, director of Interventional Cardiology. The national trial, called ALLSTAR, uses heart cells from unrelated donors in an effort to reverse lasting tissue damage after a heart attack.

During his talk, Henry also expressed concern for patients who might be taken advantage of by unscrupulous clinics outside of the United States that offer stem cell "cures" for everything from neurological diseases to baldness. Patients also need to understand that stem cell science has a long way to go before regenerative medicine treatments are widely available.

"We have made major progress in the past 20 years but we still have needs," Henry said, particularly for advanced heart disease patients whose only hope is a transplant or a mechanical pumping device. "What we need to do is very well-designed studies that actually teach us something and take us to the next step. …There are significant challenges, but we can meet them."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Raj R Makkar, Rachel R Smith, Ke Cheng, Konstantinos Malliaras, Louise EJ Thomson, Daniel Berman, Lawrence SC Czer, Linda Marbαn, Adam Mendizabal, Peter V Johnston, Stuart D Russell, Karl H Schuleri, Albert C Lardo, Gary Gerstenblith, Eduardo Marbαn. Intracoronary cardiosphere-derived cells for heart regeneration after myocardial infarction (CADUCEUS): a prospective, randomised phase 1 trial. The Lancet, 2012; 379 (9819): 895 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60195-0

Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "How experimental regenerative medicine therapies can regrow damaged heart muscle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617092004.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2014, June 17). How experimental regenerative medicine therapies can regrow damaged heart muscle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617092004.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "How experimental regenerative medicine therapies can regrow damaged heart muscle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140617092004.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
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