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

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Marban, who holds the Mark Siegel Family Foundation Chair at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and directs Cedars-Sinai's Board of Governors Heart Stem Cell Center, also said the cardiac stem cell procedure is a logical step forward from recent studies in which cardiac patients have been treated with stem cells derived from bone marrow. Studies over the past eight years have shown that more than 500 cardiac patients have experienced modest improvement when treated with bone marrow stem cells.

However, bone marrow stem cells are not predestined to regenerate heart muscle. When cardiac stem cells were discovered five years ago by various teams worldwide, Marban began developing a method for isolating heart stem cells from minimally-invasive biopsies and then multiplying the cells. Unlike bone marrow cells, heart stem cells are naturally programmed to regrow heart tissue, so they could prove more effective in healing the injury caused by heart attacks.

"If successful, we hope the procedure could be widely available in a few years and could be more broadly applied to cardiac patients," Marban said. For example, if patients are able to re-grow damaged heart muscle via stem cell therapy, there could be lesser demand for expensive and risky treatments such as heart transplants.

The process to grow the cardiac-derived stem cells involved in the study was developed by Marban when he was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. The university has filed for a patent on that intellectual property, and has licensed it to a company in which Dr. Marban has a financial interest. No funds from that company were used to support the clinical study. All funding was derived from the National Institutes of Health, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

For more information, visit www.cedars-sinai
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SOURCE Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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