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Stem cell study helps clarify the best time for therapy to aid heart attack survivors
Date:11/14/2011

rcent to 48.8 percent).

Dr. Simari says that earlier studies suggest patients with severe heart attacks benefit most from stem cell therapy. The researchers were interested in studying the two- to three-week period because many people who have severe heart attacks are not well enough or stable enough to receive cells right after their heart attacks. "Many are on life support or other systems, and we didn't think that studying them that early was the best way to assess the benefits to the sickest patients," Dr. Simari says.

The LateTIME study offers a cautionary lesson for people who have had heart attacks and are considering going overseas to seek stem cell treatment. "We would suggest that individuals not seek treatment outside of the U.S. for therapies that aren't proven effective," Dr. Simari says. The researchers think that the heart may be less receptive to such therapies two to three weeks after a heart attack, or that a person's stem cells are less potent at that time.

Jay Traverse, M.D., lead author of the study and a cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, says patients will be followed clinically for two years in the LateTIME study.

"There may still be other benefits to stem cell therapy that may be uncovered over time," Dr. Traverse says. "We observed that patients who received the cell therapy had fewer adverse events such as placement of defibrillators or repeat revascularization compared to patients who got the placebo, consistent with observations in some of the European trials. This therapy may provide hidden safety measures that reduce adverse events and that's something we will follow closely."

LateTIME is one of three heart stem cell trials being conducted by CCTRN. The other trials will explore the effectiveness of stem cell therapy delivered at three days and seven days following a heart attack, and the usefulness of stem cell therapy in people with chronic he
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Contact: Traci Klein
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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