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Stem Cell Study Shows Promising Results Against Heart Failure
Date:5/11/2012

ation of stem cell therapy, Henry said the treatment process helps enhance the potency of existing stem cells. "It gives a more functional product," and when injected these stem cells may promote the growth of new blood vessels, he added.

Further study is ongoing, and if the results are positive a product could be available within two years to treat inadequate blood supply to the legs, and soon thereafter for heart failure, he said. According to Henry, six or seven new products that enhance bone marrow stem cells are being developed. "Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for any of the clinical trials," Henry advised.

The new study included 22 participants with advanced heart failure and an enlarged heart whose current medication regimen was no longer effective. They either received an injection of the stem cell therapy treatment into their heart muscles or a placebo shot. After 12 months, there were no complications and no difference in side effects among those who received the stem cells and the control group. That said, individuals who received the novel stem cell therapy did have a lower number of major heart-related events and were more likely to see improvements in their ability to walk without growing breathless. Those who received the stem cell treatment also showed marked improvements in their ejection fraction, which is a measure of how much blood leaves the heart with each pump.

"This study tells us that injecting stem cells into the heart muscle of a patient with chronic heart failure may be beneficial," says Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, director of the congestive heart failure program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Typically, these individuals are treated with multiple medications, put on a low-salt diet and encouraged to get some exercise.

"The available medications are very effective and people live a lot longer than they used to because of the drugs we have developed," he said. But many people reach a ce
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