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Cardiac stem cell trial seeks to treat some heart attack patients
Date:9/30/2009

Researchers at UCSF Medical Center have begun enrollment for an early-stage clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an adult stem cell therapy for patients who have just experienced their first acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The trial is part of a multi-center national study.

The cells used, known as mesenchymal stem cells, were obtained from the bone marrow of healthy adult donors. Depending on their location in the body, mesenchymal stem cells give rise to bone, cartilage, fat, muscle and connective tissue.

The experimental therapy is intended to combat the symptoms related to heart damage that continue to develop following a heart attack, including low pumping capacity, inflammation and increased scar tissue. Although the exact mechanisms of the stem cells' actions in this setting are not yet known, previous studies have suggested that they could reduce the amount of scar tissue and inflammation caused by heart attack.

A previous UCSF study on the impact of bone marrow-derived stem cells on heart attacks in mice provided evidence that stem cells work by assisting in tissue repair on the cellular level, resulting is less damage and improved function.

The new clinical trial is the first stem cell clinical trial in cardiology at UCSF.

"This is an important and exciting step for physicians and scientists seeking to translate research into beneficial treatments for patients," said Yerem Yeghiazarians, MD, co-director of the Adult Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, director of the UCSF Translational Cardiac Stem Cell Program and lead investigator of the cardiac stem cell study.

"Many of us have been working for a long time to have a therapy for patients that could improve organ damage at the basic level," he added. "UCSF is one of the fastest hospitals in the nation at treating heart attack with angioplasty, according to the National Cardiovascular Data Registry. We are hoping
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Contact: Lauren Hammit
lhammit@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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