Adult Stem Cells via Endoscopic Injections Can be Used to Treat Heart Failure
Nov 21, 2005 - 12:04:38 AM

Two leading cardiac surgeons in adult stem cell therapy for heart disease presented the use of adult stem cells via endoscopic injection to treat heart failure patients during their talks at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Fall Education Meeting: “Synergy: Mechanical and Biological Cardiac Support - Recovery, Replacement, and Repair with Cellular Therapy.”

At the afternoon session on clinical cell therapies, Dr. Amit N. Patel, Director of Cardiac Stem Cell Therapies at The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), described the endoscopic injection procedure that is used to inject stem cells directly into the heart muscle. Dr. Kitipan V. Arom, Chief Cardiac Surgeon at Bangkok Heart Hospital, collaborated with Dr. Patel on the minimally invasive technique.

Dr. Arom followed up by presenting encouraging clinical results from a number of patients treated at Bangkok Heart Hospital using this procedure and VesCell™ from TheraVitae®. VesCell is comprised of adult stem cells called Angiogenic Cell Precursors and is harvested from a small amount of the patient’s own blood.

Dr. Patel recently received approval from the US FDA to initiate clinical trials using adult stem cells derived from bone marrow to treat heart patients at UPMC. However, in Thailand, he has observed several of the procedures performed by Dr. Arom using VesCell. Dr. Patel believes that VesCell is as safe as cells taken directly from the patient’s bone marrow – and safer than cells derived from muscle tissue.

“The results are very promising and we don’t see the complications that we see with other cell types,” said Dr. Patel.

“VesCell is also much easier to harvest because it only requires drawing a small amount of blood from the patient. It does not require a surgical procedure like bone marrow or muscle tissue,” added Dr. Arom.

In the morning sessions on pre-clinical cell therapies, Ren-Ke Li, M.D., Professor of Surgery in the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Toronto, discussed positive initial results from a myocardial ischemia model in rats performed with cells from TheraVitae.

About VesCell™
VesCell™ uses a patient’s own adult stem cells to treat Heart Disease and is a viable alternative for patients who either cannot undergo or choose not to undergo standard treatments such as Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG).

VesCell™ uses adult stem cells harvested from approximately ½ pint of the patients own blood to treat several heart conditions. Once harvested, the cells are differentiated and expanded in vitro into Angiogenic Cell Precursors at TheraVitae’s Labs in Israel. They are ready for implantation in about one week.

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