CHICAGO, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Chicago heart researchers say they've determined
adult stem cells might help repair heart tissues damaged by a heart attack.
Rush University Medical Center scientist said the results from a Phase I study
show stem cells from donor bone marrow appear to help heart attack patients
recover better by growing new blood vessels to bring more oxygen to the heart.
The medical center was one of 10 U.S. cardiac centers that participated in the
53-patient, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 1 trial. Rush is now
enrolling patients for a Phase II trial.
Researchers said the Phase I finding is the strongest evidence yet that
indicates adult stem cells can differentiate, or turn into heart cells to repair
damage. Until now, it has been believed only embryonic stem cells could
differentiate into heart or other organ cells, the scientists said.
"The results point to a promising new treatment for heart attack patients that
could reduce mortality and lessen the need for heart transplants," said Dr. Gary
Schaer, head of the medical center's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and the
study's principal investigator at Rush.
He said one reason the study results are so promising is the stem cells can be
used without tissue typing, do not trigger an immune response and are available
for every patient.
The research is to be reported in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the
American College of Cardiology.
Source : United Press International