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Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs

tor cells (EPCs), which is the type of cell needed to make new blood vessels and to repair damaged ones. Patients in the clinical trial will be given an injection of either a growth factor called GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor) or placebo (sterile salt water) three times a week for two weeks. The level of EPCs in the volunteers' blood will be measured before, during and after administration of the drug or placebo. The study is randomized and blinded, which means that volunteers will not know whether they are receiving the study drug or the placebo. The goal of the study is to determine if and how much GM-CSF will increase the number of circulating EPCs in patients with peripheral vascular disease. Another goal is to find out whether or not increasing the number of circulating EPCs results in improved blood flow to the leg, improved blood vessel function and improvement of patients' symptoms. Currently, GM-CSF is approved by the FDA for several uses, including in cancer patients to increase the number of white blood cells to fight infection after chemotherapy; in healthy individuals serving as bone marrow donors to stimulate the bone marrow to release stem cells; and in patients who have had a bone marrow transplant to increase the number of white blood cells. It is still considered experimental, however, for use to increase the level of EPCs in patients with peripheral vascular disease. The investigators are seeking patients in whom prior treatments, including surgery or angioplasty, have been unsuccessful, or patients for whom those treatments are not options. To find out more about the study and eligibility, call 404-712-0170.
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Source:Woodruff Health Sciences Center


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