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First Human Receives Cardiac Stem Cells in Clinical Trial to Heal Damage Caused By Heart Attacks
Date:6/30/2009

patients participating in the study have hearts that were damaged and scarred by heart attacks. Once enrolled in the study, patients go through a three-step procedure.

After undergoing extensive imaging so doctors can pinpoint the exact location and severity of the scars wrought by the heart attack, the patient undergoes a minimally-invasive biopsy, with local anesthesia. Using a catheter inserted through a vein in the patient's neck, doctors remove a small piece of heart tissue, about half the size of a raisin.

The heart tissue is then taken to a specialized lab at Cedars-Sinai, where heart stem cells are cultured using methods invented by Marban and his team. It takes about four weeks for the cells to multiply to numbers sufficient for therapeutic use, approximately 10 to 25 million.

In the third and final step, the now-multiplied stem cells are re-introduced into the patient's coronary arteries during a second catheter procedure.

All patients in the study had to have experienced heart attacks within four weeks prior to enrolling in the research project. Four patients will receive 12.5 million stem cells and two patients will serve as controls. Later this summer, it is anticipated that 12 more patients will undergo procedures to receive 25 million stem cells, while six additional patients will be monitored as controls.

The first patient, Kenneth Milles, a 39-year-old controller for a small construction company in the San Fernando Valley, experienced a heart attack on May 10 due to a 99 percent blockage in the left anterior descending artery, a major artery of the heart. Milles' heart attack left 21 percent of his heart muscle infarcted, or scarred. He underwent his biopsy May 24 and received his infusion of stem cells on June 29.

The patients will be monitored for six months. Complete results are scheduled to be available in late-2010. '/>"/>

SOURCE Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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