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UCSF study identifies weakness in heart attack therapy
Date:9/20/2011

A UCSF study holds clues to why an emerging clinical trials option for heart attack patients has not been as successful as anticipated. Treatment of human hearts with bone marrow cells has led to limited to no success in improving their heart function even though a similar method has been much more effective in rodents.

Scientists didn't have a plausible research-based answer until now, according to the UCSF researchers. In a paper published this month in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers offer an explanation of why a gap exists been the success of human trials and rodent experiments.

Researchers use bone marrow from young, healthy donor rodents to treat mice that had heart attacks. However in humans, bone marrow cells came from the patients themselvestypically olderafter they suffered heart attacks.

"It's very important to consider the disease, whenever you think about treatments that involve returning cells into the same person from whom they were taken," said the paper's senior author Matt Springer, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the UCSF Division of Cardiology and UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute. "The very disease you're trying to treat might actually cause a problem for those cells, and that seems to be the case here.

A heart attack occurs about every 20 seconds in the United States with a heart attack death occurring approximately every minute, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That translates to about 500,000 deaths from 1.5 million heart attacks. It is the leading cause of death for men and women in America.

"Heart attacks are very complicated, and are hard to treat even with pharmacology and interventional therapies," said Xiaoyin Wang, MD, lead author, and an associate research specialist at the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute. "It's difficult
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Contact: Leland Kim
leland.kim@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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UCSF study identifies weakness in heart attack therapy
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