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Cell therapy using patient's own bone marrow may present option for heart disease
Date:3/24/2012

CHICAGO Cell therapy may present an option for patients with ischemic heart disease to use their own bone marrow cells to repair the damaged areas of their hearts, and may pave the way for future treatment options, according to the FOCUS trial, which will be presented as a late-breaking clinical trial March 24 at the 61st annual American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific session.

This is the largest study to date to look at stem cell therapy, using a patient's own stem cells, to repair damaged areas of the heart in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease and left ventricular dysfunction. Researchers found that left ventricular ejection fraction (the percentage of blood leaving the heart's main pumping chamber) increased by a small but significant amount (2.7 percent) in patients who received stem cell therapy. The study also revealed that the improvement in ejection fraction correlated with the number of progenitor cells (CD34+ and CD133+) in the bone marrow; and this information will help in evaluating and designing future therapies and trials.

"FOCUS is an incredibly important trial, as it has informed the cell therapy community how to better treat this high-risk patient population, and allows us to enter into an exciting, next generation of stem cell therapy armed with more data," said study investigator Timothy D. Henry, MD, an interventional cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute (MHI) at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and director of research with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.

This multicenter study was conducted by the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN), which is supported through a research grant from the National Institutes of Health's National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), with the goal to evaluate novel stem cell-based treatment strategies for individuals with cardiovascular disease.

FOCUS will be presented at ACC.12 by its lead investiga
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Contact: Kristin Wincek
kwincek@mhif.org
612-863-0249
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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