Thursday, October 1, 2009
Stem cell therapy aims to prevent permanent damage from heart attacks
"Researchers at University of California - San Francisco Medical Center have begun enrollment for an early-stage clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an adult stem cell therapy for patients who have just experienced their first acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The trial is part of a multi-center national study. The cells used, known as mesenchymal stem cells, were obtained from the bone marrow of healthy adult donors. Depending on their location in the body, mesenchymal stem cells give rise to bone, cartilage, fat, muscle and connective tissue. The experimental therapy is intended to combat the symptoms related to heart damage that continue to develop following a heart attack, including low pumping capacity, inflammation and increased scar tissue. Although the exact mechanisms of the stem cells' actions in this setting are not yet known, previous studies have suggested that they could reduce the amount of scar tissue and inflammation caused by heart attack"