At the same time, patients in another clinical trial conducted by Bolli and his research team have reached the important two-year mark following the research procedure performed on them.
Mike Jones and Jim Dearing, both of Louisville, were the first two patients infused with their own processed adult stem cells in Bolli's SCIPIO trial. Three more William Williams, William Covey and Roger Wilson followed, and as of Oct. 9, all will have reached their endpoint in the trial.
The groundbreaking study, with the full name of "Cardiac Stem Cell Infusion in Patients with Ischemic cardiOmyopathy," is seeking to perfect a technique for using a patient's own cardiac stem cells to regenerate dead heart muscle after a heart attack.
Bolli's team of researchers at the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital are collaborating with a team led by Dr. Piero Anversa at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. 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 way of catheterizing a large artery in the patient's leg. Using the patient's own cardiac stem cells eliminates the possibility of rejection.
While it is not yet known exactly how the processed cells work, it is thought that they could be regenerating heart muscle. Regardless of the mechanism of action, the 15 patients currently in Bolli's Phase I clinical trial all have shown improvement.
Those improvements include increased ejection fraction, the amount of blood pumped through the two lower chambers of the heart. Patients also have experienced dramatic improvements in what they are able do physically, Bolli said. "There are people who are almost completel
|Contact: Jill Scoggins|
University of Louisville