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New therapy for heart failure may enhance body's stem cell response at cardiovascular injury site
Date:2/21/2013

TAMPA, Florida (Feb. 21, 2013) Cardiovascular disease specialists at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute affiliated with the University of South Florida announced they have enrolled their first patients into a clinical trial testing a novel gene therapy for the treatment of heart failure after ischemic injury. The therapy may promote the regeneration of heart tissue by encouraging the body to deploy more stem cells to the injury site.

Dr. Charles Lambert, Medical Director of Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and Dr. Leslie Miller, Director of the USF Heart Institute, are leading the way for the randomized, placebo-controlled trial which spans 10 sites across the United States. The study, called the STOP-HF, will enroll 90 patients nationwide.

Heart failure (HF) can occur when the muscles of the heart become weakened and cannot pump blood sufficiently throughout the body. The injury is most often caused by inadequate blood flow to the heart resulting from chronic or acute cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks. Considerable scientific evidence has emerged over the past decade demonstrating the high therapeutic potential of regenerative medicine for a host of diseases. Heart failure is a leading cause of death, disability and hospitalization.

Dr. Charles Lambert is performing the gene therapy by direct injection into the heart using an investigational system in the catheterization laboratories at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.

"Pepin Heart and Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute and USF are exploring and conducting leading-edge research to develop break-through treatments long before they are even available in other facilities," Dr. Lambert said. "Stem cells have the unique ability to develop into many different cell types, and in many tissues serve as an internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells. This tria
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Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3303
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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