Thursday, January 12, 2012

London Chest Professor leads largest-ever heart attack trial

The largest trial of adult stem cell therapy in patients has received funding from the European Union. 3000 patients suffering heart attacks will be recruited into the trial throughout the European Union to test whether stem cells administered shortly after the heart attack will prolong life. Stem cells offer the promise of revolutionary treatment for human disease. However, a definitive test of whether they work or not in this specific case of heart treatment has been lacking. This study will provide the answer. This is the largest trial of its kind, and it is hoped that it could increase survival rates by a quarter among patients having heart attacks. The study has been made possible thanks to a €5.9 million award from the European Commission. The BAMI study will involve 21 partners in 11 European countries. The results will be announced in five years and is designed to test whether stem cell therapy will save lives. Globally, more than 17m people died from cardiovascular diseases last year - more than from any other cause. This landmark trial is being led by Professor Anthony Mathur and colleagues from Barts and the London NHS Trust and Queen Mary, University of London NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit

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