Skip to comments.Stem cell heart repairs: 21st century medicine in action
Posted on 02/22/2013 5:45:02 PM PST by neverdem
Gerard Cuomo loves to dance.
Until recently, however, the 70-year-old couldnt even do a two-step.
After having three heart attacks in the early 1990s, Cuomos heart was severely damaged. The scar tissue that had formed around his heart left him easily fatigued.
I felt like an old man, said Cuomo of Aventura. I could barely climb the stairs. I could walk for about a quarter of a mile. Shopping at the mall I wish I did not have to sit down all the time.
In May 2010, he participated in a University of Miami Miller School of Medicines clinical trial in which doctors injected stem cells directly into his heart muscle. The stem cells, because they are not fully formed, have the potential to grow into different kinds of cells, internalizing information from their environment to determine their future growth.
The study found that the injections built up the healthy heart tissue and reduced scar tissue by 33 percent a dramatic improvement, said Dr. Joshua Hare, director of UMs Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, which conducted the study with Johns Hopkins University. The new tissue remodeled the heart to look more like a healthy, football-shaped heart.
This is a real example of 21st century medicine, said Hare, the Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Division. Without doing any specific manipulation, we didnt coax them, they knew where to go. They work in ways that make a lot of sense.
The results of the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, were published in November by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Half of the 30 men enrolled in the study received injections of their own stem cells, while the other half got stem cells from a third-party donor.
Using a donor is a huge convenience factor, Hare said. We can store large quantities of the stem cells in a cell bank and use them whenever the need arises.
Cuomos stem cells were extracted from his bone marrow. He had to wait about six weeks after extraction to have them re-injected into his heart. During that time, doctors cultivated and tested the cells.
Now, UM doctors are working to take their research a step further combining bone marrow stem cells with stem cells taken directly from the heart. Preliminary results of heart/stem cell studies at the University of Louisville have been encouraging.
The bottom line is, can we do something to further help patients? Hare asked.
The research into stem cells dates back to late last century. Previously, once an organ was damaged from a heart attack, the scarring was permanent unless the patient underwent a heart transplant a relatively rare procedure.
Doctors have studied embryonic stem cells as well as adult stem cells stored in the bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and body fat.
The Food and Drug Administration has not approved these stem cell treatments. Rather, researchers are trying to determine if this is a valid protocol for treating a damaged heart.
Cuomo said he would rather be enrolled in a clinical trial of a non-FDA-approved treatment than live the limited life he was living.
Id rather take the shot and have a better quality of life, he said.
Today, he enjoys daily long walks with his dog, Muffy, and has been on several cruises with his family.
We didnt travel before I had the treatment, he said. You are reluctant to travel when you feel gingerly about your condition.
Hare said it would take about five years to receive FDA approval if stem cells are cleared as a drug, perhaps less time if stem cells are approved as a non-drug.
We are envisioning a time when this could become an established treatment, he said. The point is that the results are very exciting and very promising.
As usual, you have to read this very closely to confirm that these are ADULT STEM CELLS.
The article says, “Doctors have studied embryonic stem cells as well as adult stem cells stored in the bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and body fat.”
But it fails to mention that in spite of billions of tax dollars wasted on fetal stem cell research, it has accomplished nothing—except to make the abortionists feel good.
I met an engineer a decade ago that was working on a machine to process bone marrow, harvest the stem cells and inject them into the heart. All one machine using your own bone marrow, completing the processing bedside, and delivering the stem cells to the damaged heart.
I wish this had been available a decade ago. It could have saved my father!
This is a breakthrough because it uses the donor’s own stem cells, so there is no risk of rejection.
What’s promising about these trials is the countless lives they could save and improve the quality of life for millions of people.
Reading the headline, I was curious myself as to whether the treatment used adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells, and asked myself whether I should waste a bunch of my time reading the work of what was likely some barely competent journalism major, or whether I should go directly to the generally more useful and intelligent commentary of the average Freeper.
And even though only two comments were indicated at the time, I made the right choice.
Adult stem cells, a proven track record!
No matter. Once obummercare kicks in, 70 year olds won’t be eligible for this treatment.
70-year-old politicians will.
This sounds very exciting, but I don’t think my ticker will hang on for 5 years waiting for this to be approved.
My heart doc says that I will not likely find a doctor willing to go back into my chest again. A stroke during heart surgery and MRSA almost killed me last time.... I guess that makes the docs apprehensive.
Maybe this approach will work on me.... hurry.
A friend of mine (since retired) wrote a number of ground-breaking articles on using bone marrow to treat leukemia when he was at Johns Hopkins. I think he was the first to put bone marrow to practical use.
As the stem cells are extracted from bone marrow, they are not the embryonic stem cells the pro abortion crowd is pushing on us. Those embryonic stem cells are quite problematic and really pushed to support the pro abortion side.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my stem cell/regenerative medicine ping list.
I couldn't locate a FReebie of that citation on the net. I probably have a hard copy of it, but I can't find it. I don't subscribe, but JAMA sends me courtesy copies in the mail.
Understand my FRiend
May God bless and heal you.
Say your prayers
Consider volunteering at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ for an adult stem cell trial.
Thank you.... I’ll look into that.
Thank you and God bless you back.
Adult stem cells. Who’d’a thot?
Keep moving, folks. Nothing to see here...