Skip to comments.Roberto Bolli discusses cardiac stem cell treatment for heart failure at Cannon Lecture
Posted on 04/09/2011 4:04:10 PM PDT by decimon
WASHINGTON, DC Heart failure affects roughly six million Americans, yet treatment consists of either a heart transplant or the insertion of mechanical devices that assist the heart. This is unacceptable to Roberto Bolli, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky., which is why he is on a mission to make cardiac stem cell treatment an option for all who must cope with the limitations of a failing heart.
Dr. Bolli is conducting the groundbreaking study, "Cardiac Stem Cell Infusion in Patients with Ischemic cardiOmyopathy (SCIPIO)," in which researchers at the University of Louisville's Jewish Hospital are collaborating with a team led by Piero Anversa, MD, at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston to perfect a technique for using a patient's own cardiac stem cells to regenerate dead heart muscle after a heart attack.
In honor of his illuminating work, the American Physiological Society (APS) has selected Dr. Bolli to present the Walter B. Cannon Memorial Lecture at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting (EB 2011). This lecture is the Society's pre-eminent award lecture and is designed to recognize an outstanding scientist for his or her contributions to the field.
A Tale of Two Proteins
The cardiac stem cell treatment investigated in the SCIPIO trial consists of isolating the patient's cardiac stem cells from part of the upper chamber of the heart (harvested during coronary bypass surgery) and expanding these cells in the lab. Four months after surgery, the cells are infused into scarred cardiac tissue by catheterizing a large artery in the patient's leg. Using the patient's own cardiac stem cells eliminates the possibility of rejection.
Besides SCIPIO, Dr. Bolli is also performing basic research aimed at on enhancing the cardiac stem cells while they are cultured in the lab for expansion. He is working with two proteins, heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS). HO-1 is a protein made in response to cellular stress, such as oxidative stress or oxygen deficiency. It catalyzes the breakdown of heme, which is a molecular component of hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that transports oxygen around the body. When HO-1 breaks down heme, one of the by-products is carbon monoxide (CO). NOS, the other protein Dr. Bolli is investigating, is an enzyme that catalyzes the production of nitric oxide (NO). Dr. Bolli is focusing on these two proteins because their catalytic by-products, CO and NO, exert remarkable beneficial effects.
"When the heart muscle is dying because of a heart attack, these gases (CO and NO) are extremely cardioprotective and help the tissue survive," he says. "We are now applying these same proteins to stem cells, using the knowledge that we have gained from 20 years of research in cardioprotection."
A Promising Future
So far, the results are promising. "We have exciting data indicating that if we increase these proteins in stem cells, the stem cells become more resilient and more effective at repairing damage," Dr. Bolli says.
Even with natural cells (in which these proteins are not increased), such as those used in SCIPIO, the results are very encouraging. Improvements seen in patients who have received cardiac stem cell infusion include increased ejection fraction, the fraction of blood pumped through the two lower chambers of the heart. Patients also experience dramatic improvements in what they are able do physically, Dr. Bolli says. "There are people who are almost completely incapacitated, and after they get stem cells, they can do so much more. I have a patient who couldn't walk to the bathroom, and now he can walk two miles."
Dr. Bolli cautions that SCIPIO is a Phase 1 trial, meaning that it is the first round of testing in humans. Its primary purpose is to assess safety and feasibility, rather than efficacy. Yet, he remains optimistic and notes that cardiac stem cells offer the hope of healing the heart. "All of the other treatments currently available--transplants, assist devices, drugs--may prolong life but do not solve the problem. By regenerating new heart muscle, cardiac stem cells could actually solve the problem."
To date, 17 patients have received cardiac stem cells in the SCIPIO trial. Dr. Bolli will discuss his research and provide the latest details of how the patients are faring when he presents this year's Cannon Lecture, "The nitric oxidecarbon monoxide module: A fundamental mechanism of cellular resistance to stress," on Saturday, April 9, 5:45 pm ET at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Walter B. Cannon Award Lecture
The Cannon Award lectureship, established in 1982, is the APS' highest award. The individual selected is an outstanding physio¬logical scientist chosen by the President-Elect, with the consent of Council, to lecture on "Physiology in Perspective" during the plenary session of the Society's next annual meeting. At the 1984 fall meeting, the title of the presentation was changed to "Physiology in Perspective: The Walter B. Cannon Lecture."
About Experimental Biology 2011
Experimental Biology is an annual gathering of six scientific societies that this year is expected to draw 13,000-plus independent scientists and exhibitors. The American Physiological Society (APS) is a co-sponsor of the meeting along with the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).
About the American Physiological Society
The American Physiological Society (APS) is a nonprofit scholarly association dedicated to fostering scientific research, education and dissemination of information about human and animal physiology. Founded in 1887 with 28 members, the APS now has more than 10,500 members, most of whom have doctoral degrees in physiology, medicine or other health sciences. The Society's national headquarters is in Bethesda, Maryland on the campus of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
And, as you likely know, a lab breakthrough a few years ago allows researchers to produce embryonic-like stem cells from mature ones.
Thanks for posting.
No, I'm a layman. I just post this stuff.
Hang in there. That they've gotten to human trials is encouraging.
At any rate, this is what I was referring to [excerpt]:
Stem Cell Breakthrough: New Method For Creating Stem Cells
ScienceDaily (Mar. 2, 2009) Mount Sinai Hospital's Dr. Andras Nagy discovered a new method of creating stem cells that could lead to possible cures for devastating diseases including spinal cord injury, macular degeneration, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. The study, published by Nature, accelerates stem cell technology and provides a road map for new clinical approaches to regenerative medicine.
"We hope that these stem cells will form the basis for treatment for many diseases and conditions that are currently considered incurable," said Dr. Nagy, Senior Investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Investigator at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, and Canada Research Chair in Stem Cells and Regeneration. "This new method of generating stem cells does not require embryos as starting points and could be used to generate cells from many adult tissues such as a patient's own skin cells."
Dr. Nagy discovered a new method to create pluripotent stem cells (cells that can develop into most other cell types) without disrupting healthy genes. Dr. Nagy's method uses a novel wrapping procedure to deliver specific genes to reprogram cells into stem cells. Previous approaches required the use of viruses to deliver the required genes, a method that carries the risk of damaging the DNA. Dr. Nagy's method does not require viruses, and so overcomes a major hurdle for the future of safe, personalized stem cell therapies in humans (snip)...
I can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but I can't seem to make a dime off of it. That's the rub.
stem cell ping
Would you consider volunteering for the doc's trial? If so, contact him.
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