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Texas Heart(R) Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital Initiates First Clinical Trial in the World to Treat a Heart Attack Patient with a Special Stem Cell Type
Date:4/14/2008

the hospital two days after receiving this experimental treatment.

"Our pre-clinical trials have established that ten days after the heart attack is the optimal time to give this treatment. The heart is still inflamed in the days just after a heart attack. If we wait too late, the heart will have too much scar tissue and its ability to pump will already be compromised," said Emerson Perin, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Perin is the director of the Texas Heart Institute's Stem Cell Center and he was recently appointed Director of Clinical Research for Cardiovascular Medicine at THI.

This randomized Phase I trial will include 25 patients in three phases in which the patient receives 25, 75 or 150 million stem cells. Physicians use a 3-D imaging technology which maps the electrical and mechanical function of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart. The stem cells are injected into damaged but still viable areas of the heart muscle. The study is sponsored by Angioblast Systems, a company which provides the proprietary cells.

"This is a major milestone in the adult stem cell research we began eight years ago. Our challenge remains to identify the very best types of stem cells, refine our delivery techniques, and establish the most effective doses of stem cells. We also have much work to do in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which stem cells differentiate into specific organs and tissue," said James Willerson, M.D., president-elect and medical director of the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's. He is also President of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Dr. Willerson made the point that every person is a product of two cells which develop into billions of stem cells that have the innate ability to form our bodies.

"All of us have stem cells in our bodies, just not in sufficient numbers to perform the healing we need. I believe we were meant to learn of the powerful potential of stem cells a
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SOURCE Texas Heart Institute
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