Page 4«..3456..1020..»

Archive for the ‘Cardiac Stem Cells’ Category

Robot hearts: medicine’s new frontier – The Guardian

On a cold, bright January morning I walked south across Westminster Bridge to St Thomas Hospital, an institution with a proud tradition of innovation: I was there to observe a procedure generally regarded as the greatest advance in cardiac surgery since the turn of the millennium and one that can be performed without a surgeon.

The patient was a man in his 80s with aortic stenosis, a narrowed valve which was restricting outflow from the left ventricle into the aorta. His heart struggled to pump sufficient blood through the reduced aperture, and the muscle of the affected ventricle had thickened as the organ tried to compensate. If left unchecked, this would eventually lead to heart failure. For a healthier patient the solution would be simple: an operation to remove the diseased valve and replace it with a prosthesis. But the mans age and a long list of other medical conditions made open-heart surgery out of the question. Happily, for the last few years, another option has been available for such high-risk patients: transcatheter aortic valve implantation, known as TAVI for short.

This is a non-invasive procedure, and takes place not in an operating theatre but in the catheterisation laboratory, known as the cath lab. When I got there, wearing a heavy lead gown to protect me from X-rays, the patient was already lying on the table. He would remain awake throughout the procedure, receiving only a sedative and a powerful analgesic. I was shown the valve to be implanted, three leaflets fashioned from bovine pericardium (a tough membrane from around the heart of a cow), fixed inside a collapsible metal stent. After being soaked in saline it was crimped on to a balloon catheter and squeezed, from the size and shape of a lipstick, into a long, thin object like a pencil.

The consultant cardiologist, Bernard Prendergast, had already threaded a guidewire through an incision in the patients groin, entering the femoral artery and then the aorta, until the tip of the wire had arrived at the diseased aortic valve. The catheter, with its precious cargo, was then placed over the guidewire and pushed gently up the aorta. When it reached the upper part of the vessel we could track its progress on one of the large X-ray screens above the table. We watched intently as the metal stent described a slow curve around the aortic arch before coming to rest just above the heart.

There was a pause as the team checked everything was ready, while on the screen the silhouette of the furled valve oscillated gently as it was buffeted by pulses of high-pressure arterial blood. When Prendergast was satisfied that the catheter was precisely aligned with the aortic valve, he pressed a button to inflate the tiny balloon. As it expanded it forced the metal stent outwards and back to its normal diameter, and on the X-ray monitor it suddenly snapped into position, firmly anchored at the top of the ventricle. For a second or two the patient became agitated as the balloon obstructed the aorta and stopped the flow of blood to his brain; but as soon as it was deflated he became calm again.

Prendergast and his colleagues peered at the monitors to check the positioning of the device. In a conventional operation the diseased valve would be excised before the prosthesis was sewn in; during a TAVI procedure the old valve is left untouched and the new one simply placed inside it. This makes correct placement vital, since unless the device fits snugly there may be a leak around its edge. The X-ray picture showed that the new valve was securely anchored and moving in unison with the heart. Satisfied that everything had gone according to plan, Prendergast removed the catheter and announced the good news in a voice that was probably audible on the other side of the river. Just minutes after being given a new heart valve, the patient raised an arm from under the drapes and shook the cardiologists hand warmly. The entire procedure had taken less than an hour.

According to many experts, this is what the future will look like. Though available for little more than a decade, TAVI is already having a dramatic impact on surgical practice: in Germany the majority of aortic valve replacements, more than 10,000 a year, are now performed using the catheter rather than the scalpel.

In the UK, the figure is much lower, since the procedure is still significantly more expensive than surgery this is largely down to the cost of the valve itself, which can be as much as 20,000 for a single device. But as the manufacturers recoup their initial outlay on research and development, it is likely to become more affordable and its advantages are numerous. Early results suggest that it is every bit as effective as open-heart surgery, without many of surgerys undesirable aspects: the large chest incision, the heart-lung machine, the long period of post-operative recovery.

The essential idea of TAVI was first suggested more than half a century ago. In 1965, Hywel Davies, a cardiologist at Guys Hospital in London, was mulling over the problem of aortic regurgitation, in which blood flows backwards from the aorta into the heart. He was looking for a short-term therapy for patients too sick for immediate surgery something that would allow them to recover for a few days or weeks, until they were strong enough to undergo an operation. He hit upon the idea of a temporary device that could be inserted through a blood vessel, and designed a simple artificial valve resembling a conical parachute. Because it was made from fabric, it could be collapsed and mounted on to a catheter. It was inserted with the top of the parachute uppermost, so that any backwards flow would be caught by its inside surface like air hitting the underside of a real parachute canopy. As the fabric filled with blood it would balloon outwards, sealing the vessel and stopping most of the anomalous blood flow.

This was a truly imaginative suggestion, made at a time when catheter therapies had barely been conceived of, let alone tested. But, in tests on dogs, Davies found that his prototype tended to provoke blood clots and he was never able to use it on a patient.

Another two decades passed before anybody considered anything similar. That moment came in 1988, when a trainee cardiologist from Denmark, Henning Rud Andersen, was at a conference in Arizona, attending a lecture about coronary artery stenting. It was the first he had heard of the technique, which at the time had been used in only a few dozen patients, and as he sat in the auditorium he had a thought, which at first he dismissed as ridiculous: why not make a bigger stent, put a valve in the middle of it, and implant it into the heart via a catheter? On reflection, he realised that this was not such an absurd idea, and when he returned home to Denmark he visited a local butcher to buy a supply of pig hearts. Working in a pokey room in the basement of his hospital with basic tools obtained from a local DIY warehouse, Andersen constructed his first experimental prototypes. He began by cutting out the aortic valves from the pig hearts, mounted each inside a home-made metal lattice then compressed the whole contraption around a balloon.

Within a few months Andersen was ready to test the device in animals, and on 1 May 1989 he implanted the first in a pig. It thrived with its prosthesis, and Andersen assumed that his colleagues would be excited by his works obvious clinical potential. But nobody was prepared to take the concept seriously folding up a valve and then unfurling it inside the heart seemed wilfully eccentric and it took him several years to find a journal willing to publish his research.

When his paper was finally published in 1992, none of the major biotechnology firms showed any interest in developing the device. Andersens crazy idea worked, but still it sank without trace.

Andersen sold his patent and moved on to other things. But at the turn of the century there was a sudden explosion of interest in the idea of valve implantation via catheter. In 2000, a heart specialist in London, Philipp Bonhoeffer, replaced the diseased pulmonary valve of a 12-year-old boy, using a valve taken from a cows jugular vein, which had been mounted in a stent and put in position using a balloon catheter.

In France, another cardiologist was already working on doing the same for the aortic valve. Alain Cribier had been developing novel catheter therapies for years; it was his company that bought Andersens patent in 1995, and Cribier had persisted with the idea even after one potential investor told him that TAVI was the most stupid project ever heard of.

Eventually, Cribier managed to raise the necessary funds for development and long-term testing, and by 2000 had a working prototype. Rather than use an entire valve cut from a dead heart, as Andersen had, Cribier built one from bovine pericardium, mounted in a collapsible stainless-steel stent. Prototypes were implanted in sheep to test their durability: after two-and-a-half years, during which they opened and closed more than 100m times, the valves still worked perfectly.

Cribier was ready to test the device in humans, but his first patient could not be eligible for conventional surgical valve replacement, which is safe and highly effective: to test an unproven new procedure on such a patient would be to expose them to unnecessary risk.

In early 2002, he was introduced to a 57-year-old man who was, in surgical terms, a hopeless case. He had catastrophic aortic stenosis which had so weakened his heart that with each stroke it could pump less than a quarter of the normal volume of blood; in addition, the blood vessels of his extremities were ravaged by atherosclerosis, and he had chronic pancreatitis and lung cancer. Several surgeons had declined to operate on him, and his referral to Cribiers clinic in Rouen was a final roll of the dice. An initial attempt to open the stenotic valve using a simple balloon catheter failed, and a week after this treatment Cribier recorded in his notes that his patient was near death, with his heart barely functioning. The mans family agreed that an experimental treatment was preferable to none at all, and on 16 April he became the first person to receive a new aortic valve without open-heart surgery.

Over the next couple of days the patients condition improved dramatically: he was able to get out of bed, and the signs of heart failure began to retreat. But shortly afterwards complications arose, most seriously a deterioration in the condition of the blood vessels in his right leg, which had to be amputated 10 weeks later. Infection set in, and four months after the operation, he died.

He had not lived long nobody expected him to but the episode had proved the feasibility of the approach, with clear short-term benefit to the patient. When Cribier presented a video of the operation to colleagues they sat in stupefied silence, realising that they were watching something that would change the nature of heart surgery.

When surgeons and cardiologists overcame their initial scepticism about TAVI they quickly realised that it opened up a vista of exciting new surgical possibilities. As well as replacing diseased valves it is now also possible to repair them, using clever imitations of the techniques used by surgeons. The technology is still in its infancy, but many experts believe that this will eventually become the default option for valvular disease, making surgery increasingly rare.

While TAVI is impressive, there is one even more spectacular example of the capabilities of the catheter. Paediatric cardiologists at a few specialist centres have recently started using it to break the last taboo of heart surgery operating on an unborn child. Nowhere is the progress of cardiac surgery more stunning than in the field of congenital heart disease. Malformations of the heart are the most common form of birth defect, with as many as 5% of all babies born with some sort of cardiac anomaly though most of these will cause no serious, lasting problems. The heart is especially prone to abnormal development in the womb, with a myriad of possible ways in which its structures can be distorted or transposed. Over several decades, specialists have managed to find ways of taming most; but one that remains a significant challenge to even the best surgeon is hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), in which the entire left side of the heart fails to develop properly. The ventricle and aorta are much smaller than they should be, and the mitral valve is either absent or undersized. Until the early 1980s this was a defect that killed babies within days of birth, but a sequence of complex palliative operations now makes it possible for many to live into adulthood.

Because their left ventricle is incapable of propelling oxygenated blood into the body, babies born with HLHS can only survive if there is some communication between the pulmonary and systemic circulations, allowing the right ventricle to pump blood both to the lungs and to the rest of the body. Some children with HLHS also have an atrial septal defect (ASD), a persistent hole in the tissue between the atria of the heart which improves their chances of survival by increasing the amount of oxygenated blood that reaches the sole functioning pumping chamber. When surgeons realised that this defect conferred a survival benefit in babies with HLHS, they began to create one artificially in those with an intact septum, usually a few hours after birth. But it was already too late: elevated blood pressure was causing permanent damage to the delicate vessels of the lungs while these babies still in the womb.

The logical albeit risky response was to intervene even earlier. In 2000, a team at Boston Childrens Hospital adopted a new procedure to create an ASD during the final trimester of pregnancy: they would deliberately create one heart defect in order to treat another. A needle was passed through the wall of the uterus and into the babys heart, and a balloon catheter used to create a hole between the left and right atria. This reduced the pressures in the pulmonary circulation and hence limited the damage to the lungs; but the tissues of a growing foetus have a remarkable ability to repair themselves, and the artificially created hole would often heal within a few weeks. Cardiologists needed to find a way of keeping it open until birth, when surgeons would be able to perform a more comprehensive repair.

In September 2005 a couple from Virginia, Angela and Jay VanDerwerken, visited their local hospital for a routine antenatal scan. They were devastated to learn that their unborn child had HLHS, and the prognosis was poor. The ultrasound pictures revealed an intact septum, making it likely that even before birth her lungs would be damaged beyond repair. They were told that they could either terminate the pregnancy or accept that their daughter would have to undergo open-heart surgery within hours of her birth, with only a 20% chance that she would survive.

Devastated, the VanDerwerkens returned home, where Angela researched the condition online. Although few hospitals offered any treatment for HLHS, she found several references to the Boston foetal cardiac intervention programme, the team of doctors that had pioneered the use of the balloon catheter during pregnancy.

They arranged an appointment with Wayne Tworetzky, the director of foetal cardiology at Boston Childrens Hospital, who performed a scan and confirmed that their unborn childs condition was treatable. A greying, softly spoken South African, Tworetzky explained that his team had recently developed a new procedure, but that it had never been tested on a patient. It would mean not just making a hole in the septum, but also inserting a device to prevent it from closing. The VanDerwerkens had few qualms about accepting the opportunity: the alternatives gave their daughter a negligible chance of life.

The procedure took place at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston on 7 November 2005, 30 weeks into the pregnancy, in a crowded operating theatre. Sixteen doctors, with a range of specialisms, took part: cardiologists, surgeons, and four anaesthetists two to look after the mother, two for her unborn child. Mother and child needed to be completely immobilised during a delicate procedure lasting several hours, so both were given a general anaesthetic. The team watched on the screen of an ultrasound scanner as a thin needle was guided through the wall of the uterus, then the foetuss chest and finally into her heart an object the size of a grape.

A guidewire was placed in the cardiac chambers, then a tiny balloon catheter was inserted and used to create an opening in the atrial septum. This had all been done before; but now the cardiologists added a refinement. The balloon was withdrawn, then returned to the heart, this time loaded with a 2.5 millimetre stent that was set in the opening between the left and right atria. There was a charged silence as the balloon was inflated to expand the stent; then, as the team saw on the monitor that blood was flowing freely through the aperture, the room erupted in cheers.

Grace VanDerwerken was born in early January after a normal labour, and shortly afterwards underwent open-heart surgery. After a fortnight she was allowed home, her healthy pink complexion proving that the interventions had succeeded in producing a functional circulation.

But just when she seemed to be out of danger, Grace died suddenly at the age of 36 days not as a consequence of the surgery, but from a rare arrhythmia, a complication of HLHS that occurs in just 5%. This was the cruellest luck, when she had seemingly overcome the grim odds against her. Her death was a tragic loss, but her parents courage had brought about a new era in foetal surgery.

Much of the most exciting contemporary research focuses on the greatest, most fundamental cardiac question of all: what can the surgeon do about the failing heart? Half a century after Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant, transplantation remains the gold standard of care for patients in irreversible heart failure once drugs have ceased to be effective. It is an excellent operation, too, with patients surviving an average of 15 years. But it will never be the panacea that many predicted, because there just arent enough donor hearts to go round.

With too few organs available, surgeons have had to think laterally. As a result, a new generation of artificial hearts is now in development. Several companies are now working on artificial hearts with tiny rotary electrical motors. In addition to being much smaller and more efficient than pneumatic pumps, these devices are far more durable, since the rotors that impel the blood are suspended magnetically and are not subject to the wear and tear caused by friction. Animal trials have shown promising results, but, as yet, none of these have been implanted in a patient.

Another type of total artificial heart, as such devices are known, has, however, recently been tested in humans. Alain Carpentier, an eminent French surgeon still active in his ninth decade, has collaborated with engineers from the French aeronautical firm Airbus to design a pulsatile, hydraulically powered device whose unique feature is the use of bioprosthetic materials both organic and synthetic matter. Unlike earlier artificial hearts, its design mimics the shape of the natural organ; the internal surfaces are lined with preserved bovine pericardial tissue, a biological surface far kinder to the red blood cells than the polymers previously used. Carpentiers artificial heart was first implanted in December 2013. Although the first four patients have since died two following component failures the results were encouraging, and a larger clinical trial is now under way.

One drawback to the artificial heart still leads many surgeons to dismiss the entire concept out of hand: the price tag. These high-precision devices cost in excess of 100,000 each, and no healthcare service in the world, publicly or privately funded, could afford to provide them to everybody in need of one. And there is one still more tantalising notion: that we will one day be able to engineer spare parts for the heart, or even an entire organ, in the laboratory.

In the 1980s, surgeons began to fabricate artificial skin for burns patients, seeding sheets of collagen or polymer with specialised cells in the hope that they would multiply and form a skin-like protective layer. But researchers had loftier ambitions, and a new field tissue engineering began to emerge.

High on the list of priorities for tissue engineers was the creation of artificial blood vessels, which would have applications across the full range of surgical specialisms. In 1999 surgeons in Tokyo performed a remarkable operation in which they gave a four-year-old girl a new artery grown from cells taken from elsewhere in her body. She had been born with a rare congenital defect which had completely obliterated the right branch of her pulmonary artery, the vessel conveying blood to the right lung. A short section of vein was excised from her leg, and cells from its inside wall were removed in the laboratory. They were then left to multiply in a bioreactor, a vessel that bathed them in a warm nutrient broth, simulating conditions inside the body.

After eight weeks, they had increased in number to more than 12m, and were used to seed the inside of a polymer tube which functioned as a scaffold for the new vessel. The tissue was allowed to continue growing for 10 days, and then the graft was transplanted. Two months later the polymer scaffold around the tissue, designed to break down inside the body, had completely dissolved, leaving only new tissue that would it was hoped grow with the patient.

At the turn of the millennium, a new world of possibility opened up when researchers gained a powerful new tool: stem cell technology. Stem cells are not specialised to one function but have the potential to develop into many different tissue types. One type of stem cell is found in growing embryos, and another in parts of the adult body, including the bone marrow (where they generate the cells of the blood and immune system) and skin. In 1998 James Thomson, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin, succeeded in isolating stem cells from human embryos and growing them in the laboratory.

But an arguably even more important breakthrough came nine years later, when Shinya Yamanaka, a researcher at Kyoto University, showed that it was possible to genetically reprogram skin cells and convert them into stem cells. The implications were enormous. In theory, it would now be possible to harvest mature, specialised cells from a patient, reprogram them as stem cells, then choose which type of tissue they would become.

Sanjay Sinha, a cardiologist at the University of Cambridge, is attempting to grow a patch of artificial myocardium (heart muscle tissue) in the laboratory for later implantation in the operating theatre. His technique starts with undifferentiated stem cells, which are then encouraged to develop into several types of specialised cell. These are then seeded on to a scaffold made from collagen, a tough protein found in connective tissue. The presence of several different cell types means that when they have had time to proliferate, the new tissue will develop its own blood supply.

Clinical trials are still some years away, but Sinha hopes that one day it will be possible to repair a damaged heart by sewing one of these patches over areas of muscle scarred by a heart attack.

Using advanced tissue-engineering techniques, researchers have already succeeded in creating replacement valves from the patients own tissue. This can be done by harvesting cells from elsewhere in the body (usually the blood vessels) and breeding them in a bioreactor, before seeding them on to a biodegradable polymer scaffold designed in the shape of a valve. Once the cells are in place they are allowed to proliferate before implantation, after which the scaffold melts away, leaving nothing but new tissue. The one major disadvantage of this approach is that each valve has to be tailor-made for a specific patient, a process that takes weeks. In the last couple of years, a group in Berlin has refined the process by tissue-engineering a valve and then stripping it of cellular material, leaving behind just the extracellular matrix the structure that holds the cells in position.

The end result is therefore not quite a valve, but a skeleton on which the body lays down new tissue. Valves manufactured in this way can be implanted, via catheter, in anybody; moreover, unlike conventional prosthetic devices, if the recipient is a child the new valve should grow with them.

If it is possible to tissue-engineer a valve, then why not an entire heart? For many researchers this has come to be the ultimate prize, and the idea is not necessarily as fanciful as it first appears.

In 2008, a team led by Doris Taylor, a scientist at the University of Minnesota, announced the creation of the worlds first bioartificial heart composed of both living and manufactured parts. They began by pumping detergents through hearts excised from rats. This removed all the cellular tissue from them, leaving a ghostly heart-shaped skeleton of extracellular matrix and connective fibre, which was used as a scaffold onto which cardiac or blood-vessel cells were seeded. The organ was then cultured in a bioreactor to encourage cell multiplication, with blood constantly perfused through the coronary arteries. After four days, it was possible to see the new tissue contracting, and after a week the heart was even capable of pumping blood though only 2% of its normal volume.

This was a brilliant achievement, but scaling the procedure up to generate a human-sized heart is made far more difficult by the much greater number of cells required. Surgeons in Heidelberg have since applied similar techniques to generate a human-sized cardiac scaffold covered in living tissue. The original heart came from a pig, and after it had been decellularised it was populated with human vascular cells and cardiac cells harvested from a newborn rat. After 10 days the walls of the organ had become lined with new myocardium which even showed signs of electrical activity. As a proof of concept, the experiment was a success, though after three weeks of culture the organ could neither contract nor pump blood.

Growing tissues and organs in a bioreactor is a laborious business, but recent improvements in 3D printing offer the tantalising possibility of manufacturing a new heart rapidly and to order. 3D printers work by breaking down a three-dimensional object into a series of thin, two-dimensional slices, which are laid down one on top of another. The technology has already been employed to manufacture complex engineering components out of metal or plastic, but it is now being used to generate tissues in the laboratory. To make an aortic valve, researchers at Cornell University took a pigs valve and X-rayed it in a high-resolution CT scanner. This gave them a precise map of its internal structure which could be used as a template. Using the data from the scan, the printer extruded thin jets of a hydrogel, a water-absorbent polymer that mimics natural tissue, gradually building up a duplicate of the pig valve layer by layer. This scaffold could then be seeded with living cells and incubated in the normal way.

Pushing the technology further, Adam Feinberg, a materials scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, recently succeeded in fabricating the first anatomically accurate 3D-printed heart. This facsimile was made of hydrogel and contained no tissue, but it did show a remarkable fidelity to the original organ. Since then, Feinberg has used natural proteins such as fibrin and collagen to 3D-print hearts. For many researchers in this field, a fully tissue-engineered heart is the ultimate prize.

We are left with several competing visions of the future. Within a few decades it is possible that we will be breeding transgenic pigs in vast sterile farms and harvesting their hearts to implant in sick patients. Or that new organs will be 3D-printed to order in factories, before being dispatched in drones to wherever they are needed. Or maybe an unexpected breakthrough in energy technology will make it possible to develop a fully implantable, permanent mechanical heart.

Whatever the future holds, it is worth reflecting on how much has been achieved in so little time. Speaking in 1902, six years after Ludwig Rehn became the first person to perform cardiac surgery, Harry Sherman remarked that the road to the heart is only two or three centimetres in a direct line, but it has taken surgery nearly 2,400 years to travel it. Overcoming centuries of cultural and medical prejudice required a degree of courage and vision still difficult to appreciate today. Even after that first step had been taken, another 50 years elapsed before surgeons began to make any real progress. Then, in a dizzying period of three decades, they learned how to open the heart, repair and even replace it. In most fields, an era of such fundamental discoveries happens only once if at all and it is unlikely that cardiac surgeons will ever again captivate the world as Christiaan Barnard and his colleagues did in 1967. But the history of heart surgery is littered with breakthroughs nobody saw coming, and as long as there are surgeons of talent and imagination, and a determination to do better for their patients, there is every chance that they will continue to surprise us.

Main photograph: Getty Images

This is an adapted extract from The Matter of the Heart by Thomas Morris, published by the Bodley Head

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

Continued here:
Robot hearts: medicine’s new frontier – The Guardian

AHA awards $2 million to cardiac research at top universities – Cardiovascular Business

The American Heart Association (AHA) announced May 19 that it will donate two $1 million research grants to support research on medications and high blood pressure.

The money will be awarded over five years to Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania, according to a statement from the AHA.

[These] competitive research programs are pushing the boundaries of their respective disciplines by undertaking high-risk projects whose outcomes could revolutionize the treatment for new classes of blood pressure medications and our approaches for clinical trials in the era of precision medicine, said Ivor Benjamin, MD, who chairs the AHAs research committee.

Joseph Wu, MD, the director of theStanford Cardiovascular Institute at Stanford University School of Medicine, is leading the research on medication. He plans to use information from stem cells to speed up the slow and expensive process of introducing a new drug to the market.

Our project has tremendous potential significance for testing new drugs very efficiently compared to the traditional drug screening that the pharmaceutical industry has to go througha process that has stagnated and become almost too costly to help patients, Wu said.

The second research project, spearheaded by Garret FitzGerald, MD, a professor of medicine and systems pharmacology and translational therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvanias Perelman School of Medicine, aims to improve blood pressure control over a 24-hour period.

Given the increasing prevalence of high blood pressure in our aging population and in the developing world generally, this program promises to have a considerable impact on global health, FitzGerald said.

Read the rest here:
AHA awards $2 million to cardiac research at top universities – Cardiovascular Business

Researchers show cancer drug class has cardiac benefits – BioWorld Online

By Anette Breindl Senior Science Editor

“With the advent of targeted cancer therapies, what we’ve found is that many of them are cardiotoxic,” Saptarsi Haldar told BioWorld Today. “Pathways that are effective in cancer are toxic in the heart.”

In the May 17, 2017, issue of Science Translational Medicine, Haldar, who is an associate investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, and his colleagues showed that a class of epigenetic drugs, the BET bromodomain inhibitors, may be not just an exception to that rule, but a class of drugs that has therapeutic utility in heart failure.

The team showed that the bromodomain inhibitor JQ-1 had therapeutic benefits in two separate animal models of advanced heart failure, but did not affect the beneficial changes to heart muscle cells that are a consequence of exercise.

The paper shows a potential new approach to heart failure an indication that, with a five-year survival rate of 60 percent, needs them.

It also shows a potential approach to another vexing problem, namely drugging transcription factors.

“There’s a surprisingly tractable therapeutic index for drugging transcription in diseases,” Haldar said.

While BRD4 is not itself a transcription factor, inhibiting it “dampens the transcription factor-driven network that’s driving the disease . . . This is really about dampening transcriptional rewiring,” he added.

In heart failure, those happen to be innate immune signaling and fibrotic signaling. Experiments in cardiac cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) showed that JQ-1 acted by blocking the activation of innate immune and profibrotic pathways, essentially preventing heart cells from rewiring themselves in maladaptive ways in response to being chronically overworked.

Haldar said the original idea to test whether the compound would have an effect in heart failure was based on “an educated guess.”

Previous work had shown that certain epigenetic marks, namely acetyl marks on lysines, play a role in heart failure.

“There is a lot known about lysine acetylation in heart failure,” Haldar said, and there had been previous attempts at targeting the process, which had “fallen to the wayside, in part because of issues with therapeutic index.”

Even studying the molecular details of lysine acetylation’s role in heart failure was challenging, because genetic approaches are not viable.

The problem became tractable with the synthesis of JQ-1 in the laboratory of James Bradner, who is a co-author on the Science Translational Medicine paper. The compound, which has been used to gain insight into epigenetic aspects of a large number of biological processes thanks to the decision of its developers to distribute it freely, targets BRD4, a “reader” protein that recognizes acetylated lysines. (See BioWorld Insight, Aug. 12, 2013.)

With the advent of JQ-1, Haldar said, “we immediately made the connection that here’s a target BRD4 that you could specifically modulate that is recognizing acetyl-lysines on chromatin.”

The team initially published work in 2013 showing that JQ-1 affected cellular processes in heart failure, and was an effective therapeutic in mice when given very early in the disease.

Patients, though, don’t show up in their doctor’s office very early in the disease. They show up with “pre-existing, often chronic heart failure,” Haldar said.

At that point, the heart has already undergone significant remodeling that includes fibrosis and an activation of innate immune pathways.

The work now published in Science Translational Medicine showed that JQ-1 had effects even when given to mice that had established heart failure either due to a heart attack, or pressure overload, but did not block exercise-induced remodeling.

The team is hoping to test JQ-1 derivatives in large animal models, and ultimately take them into the clinic. Haldar is a co-founder of Tenaya Therapeutics Inc., a company launched in December with a $50 million series A financing from The Column Group. Haldar said that while he holds a patent on BET protein inhibition in heart disease, BET proteins are only “one of many targets/pathways that Tenaya is considering.”

More:
Researchers show cancer drug class has cardiac benefits – BioWorld Online

Cancer drug class has cardiac benefits – BioWorld Online

By Anette Breindl Senior Science Editor

“With the advent of targeted cancer therapies, what we’ve found is that many of them are cardiotoxic,” Saptarsi Haldar told BioWorld Today. “Pathways that are effective in cancer are toxic in the heart.”

In the May 17, 2017, issue of Science Translational Medicine, Haldar, who is an associate investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, and his colleagues showed that a class of epigenetic drugs, the BET bromodomain inhibitors, may be not just an exception to that rule, but a class of drugs that has therapeutic utility in heart failure.

The team showed that the bromodomain inhibitor JQ-1 had therapeutic benefits in two separate animal models of advanced heart failure, but did not affect the beneficial changes to heart muscle cells that are a consequence of exercise.

The paper shows a potential new approach to heart failure an indication that, with a five-year survival rate of 60 percent, needs them.

It also shows a potential approach to another vexing problem, namely drugging transcription factors.

“There’s a surprisingly tractable therapeutic index for drugging transcription in diseases,” Haldar said.

While BRD4 is not itself a transcription factor, inhibiting it “dampens the transcription factor-driven network that’s driving the disease . . . This is really about dampening transcriptional rewiring,” he added.

In heart failure, those happen to be innate immune signaling and fibrotic signaling. Experiments in cardiac cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) showed that JQ-1 acted by blocking the activation of innate immune and profibrotic pathways, essentially preventing heart cells from rewiring themselves in maladaptive ways in response to being chronically overworked.

Haldar said the original idea to test whether the compound would have an effect in heart failure was based on “an educated guess.”

Previous work had shown that certain epigenetic marks, namely acetyl marks on lysines, play a role in heart failure.

“There is a lot known about lysine acetylation in heart failure,” Haldar said, and there had been previous attempts at targeting the process, which had “fallen to the wayside, in part because of issues with therapeutic index.”

Even studying the molecular details of lysine acetylation’s role in heart failure was challenging, because genetic approaches are not viable.

The problem became tractable with the synthesis of JQ-1 in the laboratory of James Bradner, who is a co-author on the Science Translational Medicine paper. The compound, which has been used to gain insight into epigenetic aspects of a large number of biological processes thanks to the decision of its developers to distribute it freely, targets BRD4, a “reader” protein that recognizes acetylated lysines. (See BioWorld Insight, Aug. 12, 2013.)

With the advent of JQ-1, Haldar said, “we immediately made the connection that here’s a target BRD4 that you could specifically modulate that is recognizing acetyl-lysines on chromatin.”

The team initially published work in 2013 showing that JQ-1 affected cellular processes in heart failure, and was an effective therapeutic in mice when given very early in the disease.

Patients, though, don’t show up in their doctor’s office very early in the disease. They show up with “pre-existing, often chronic heart failure,” Haldar said.

At that point, the heart has already undergone significant remodeling that includes fibrosis and an activation of innate immune pathways.

The work now published in Science Translational Medicine showed that JQ-1 had effects even when given to mice that had established heart failure either due to a heart attack, or pressure overload, but did not block exercise-induced remodeling.

The team is hoping to test JQ-1 derivatives in large animal models, and ultimately take them into the clinic. Haldar is a co-founder of Tenaya Therapeutics Inc., a company launched in December with a $50 million series A financing from The Column Group. Haldar said that while he holds a patent on BET protein inhibition in heart disease, BET proteins are only “one of many targets/pathways that Tenaya is considering.”

See the rest here:
Cancer drug class has cardiac benefits – BioWorld Online

Cancer-cardiac connection illuminates promising new drug for heart … – Medical Xpress

May 17, 2017 Images of heart muscle cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Credit: Q. Duan et al., Science Translational Medicine (2017)

A team of researchers at the Gladstone Institutes uncovered a new strategy to treat heart failure, a leading contributor to mortality and healthcare costs in the United States. Despite widespread use of currently-approved drugs, approximately 40% of patients with heart failure die within 5 years of their initial diagnosis.

“The current standard of care is clearly not sufficient, which highlights the urgent need for new therapeutic approaches,” said Saptarsi Haldar, MD, an associate investigator at Gladstone and senior author of a new study featured on the cover of the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine. “In our previous work, we found that a drug-like small molecule called JQ1 can prevent the development of heart failure in mouse models when administered at the very onset of the disease. However, as the majority of patients requiring treatment already have longstanding cardiac dysfunction, we needed to determine if our strategy could also treat established heart failure.”

As part of an emerging treatment strategy, drugs derived from JQ1 are currently under study in early-phase human cancer trials. These drugs act by inhibiting a protein called BRD4, a member of a family of proteins called BET bromodomains, which directly influences heart failure. With this study, the scientists found that JQ1 can effectively treat severe, pre-established heart failure in both small animal and human cell models by blocking inflammation and fibrosis (scarring of the heart tissue).

“It has long been known that inflammation and fibrosis are key conspirators in the development of heart failure, but targeting these processes with drugs has remained a significant challenge,” added Haldar, who is also a practicing cardiologist and an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “By inhibiting the function of the protein BRD4, an approach that simultaneously blocks both of these processes, we are using a new and different strategy altogether to tackle the problem.”

Currently available drugs used for heart failure work at the surface of heart cells. In contrast, Haldar’s approach goes to the root of the problem and blocks destructive processes in the cell’s command center, or nucleus.

The video will load shortly

“We treated mouse models of heart failure with JQ1, similarly to how patients would be treated in a clinic,” said Qiming Duan, MD, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in Haldar’s lab and co-first author of the study. “We showed that this approach effectively treats pre-established heart failure that occurs both after a massive heart attack or in response to persistent high blood pressure (mechanical overload), suggesting it could be used to treat a wide array of patients.”

Using Gladstone’s unique expertise, the scientists then used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), generated from adult human skin cells, to create a type of beating heart cell known as cardiomyocytes.

“After testing the drug in mice, we wanted to check whether JQ1 would have the same effect in humans,” explained co-first author Sarah McMahon, a UCSF graduate student in Haldar’s lab. “We tested the drug on human cardiomyocytes, as they are cells that not only beat, but can also trigger the processes of inflammation and fibrosis, which in turn make heart failure progressively worse. Similar to our animal studies, we found that JQ1 was also effective in human heart cells, reaffirming the clinical relevance of our results.”

The study also showed that, in contrast to several cancer drugs that have been documented to cause cardiac toxicity, BRD4 inhibitors may be a class of anti-cancer therapeutics that has protective effects in the human heart.

“Our study demonstrates a new therapeutic approach to successfully target inflammation and fibrosis, representing a major advance in the field,” concluded Haldar. “We also believe our current work has important near-term translational impact in human heart failure. Given that drugs derived from JQ1 are already being tested in cancer clinical trials, their safety and efficacy in humans are already being defined. This key information could accelerate the development of a new heart failure drug and make it available to patients more quickly.”

Explore further: Heart failure is as ‘malignant’ as some common cancers

More information: Q. Duan el al., “BET bromodomain inhibition suppresses innate inflammatory and profibrotic transcriptional networks in heart failure,” Science Translational Medicine (2017). stm.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/scitranslmed.aah5084

A new analysis finds that, despite advances in care, men and women with a diagnosis of heart failure continue to have worse survival rates than patients with certain common cancers.

Patching a damaged heart with a patient’s own muscle stem cells improves symptoms of heart failure, according to a Phase I clinical trial reported in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the …

Researchers have completed a randomized clinical trial in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which currently has no effective treatment for reducing morbidity and mortality.

A new analysis describes different classifications of patients who are hospitalized with acute heart failure based on various characteristics, which may help guide early decisions regarding triage and treatment.

(HealthDay)Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased risk of heart failure, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In the largest German survey on heart failure to date, investigators found that the overall awareness of heart failure has not increased over the past decade and is not at a satisfactory level.

Shortness of breath is the No.1 complaint of people suffering from heart failure. Now a University of Guelph researcher has discovered its surprising cause – and an effective treatment – in a groundbreaking new study.

A team of researchers at the Gladstone Institutes uncovered a new strategy to treat heart failure, a leading contributor to mortality and healthcare costs in the United States. Despite widespread use of currently-approved …

Although the absolute difference in U.S. county-level cardiovascular disease mortality rates have declined substantially over the past 35 years for both ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, large differences …

Waist-to-hip ratio may be a stronger indicator of some cardiovascular illnesses than the commonly-used measure BMI, according to a new UCL-led study.

New research has found that genetic differences in antibody genes alter individuals’ susceptibility to rheumatic heart disease, a forgotten inflammatory heart condition known as ‘RHD’ that is rife in developing countries.

People who use commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain and inflammation could be raising their risk of having a heart attack, as early as in the first week of use and especially within …

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Go here to read the rest:
Cancer-cardiac connection illuminates promising new drug for heart … – Medical Xpress

Creative Medical Technology Holdings to Expand into 10 Billion Dollar per Year Lower Back Pain Market with … – PR Newswire (press release)

“Creative Medical Technology Holdings will develop this patent through the same process that we are using for our clinical-stage Caverstem procedure for erectile dysfunction,” stated Timothy Warbington, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “We plan to identify and engage key opinion leaders who will lead clinical trials, which will serve as the basis for accelerated commercialization.”

The Company is currently running a clinical trial using autologous non-manipulated bone marrow stem cells for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction that are non-responsive to standard approaches such as Viagra.Once the trial is completed, the results will serve as the basis for marketing of disposables utilized in administration of stem cells.

“Although numerous companies are injecting stem cells directly into the disc, direct injection may only cause temporary benefit because the root cause of the pathology, in our opinion, is the reduced blood supply,” stated Dr. Amit Patel, Director of Thoracic Surgery at University of Miami and co-founder of Creative Medical Technology Holdings. “By recreating in the microenvironment of the lower back the same thing that we do in atherosclerotic heart patients, we believe we have a novel way to treat this terrible condition that wreaks havoc on our health care system.”

Several studies have shown that administration of stem cells possesses a therapeutic effect in cardiac conditions associated with poor circulation by stimulation of new blood vessel production, a process termed “angiogenesis”.The current patent covers stimulation of angiogenesis in the lower back using mesenchymal stem cells.These cells can be used from the same patient, which is considered an “autologous therapy” as well as using stem cells in a universal donor manner, which is termed “allogeneic”.

“The acquisition of this patent not only positions the company to expand into the disc degenerative space, but also provides a powerful platform for collaboration with other companies that are administering regenerative cells directly into the nucleus pulposus of the disc,” commented Thomas Ichim, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of the Company and inventor of the technology. “Stem cells are like seeds, they need to be planted into fertile soil. We feel that in certain patients it is essential to treat the lumbar ischemia, which is present in some patients suffering from disc degenerative disease, which will then allow the stem cells administered directly in the disc to perform their regenerative effects.”

About US

Creative Medical Technology Holdings, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with two focus areas; 1) personalized stem cell procedures for sexual dysfunction and infertility, and 2) universal, off-the-shelf amniotic fluid-based stem cells that possess superior healing potential without negative medical or ethical issues. Through our own research and collaborations with leading academic institutions, we have developed proprietary protocols, built an extensive intellectual property portfolio, developed complete treatment offerings for erectile dysfunction and are performing ground-breaking research with our amniotic fluid-based stem cell.

For additional information visit http://www.CREATIVEMEDICALTECHNOLOGY.com

Forward-Looking StatementsThis release may contain “forward-looking statements.” Forward-looking statements are identified by certain words or phrases such as “may”, “aim”, “will likely result”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “contemplate”, “seek to”, “future”, “objective”, “goal”, “project”, “should”, “will pursue” and similar expressions or variations of such expressions. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectations about its future plans and performance. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates which could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in any forward-looking statement made by the Company. Please refer to the Company’s most recent Forms 10-Q and 10-K and subsequent filings with the SEC for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties. The Company disclaims any obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/creative-medical-technology-holdings-to-expand-into-10-billion-dollar-per-year-lower-back-pain-market-with-acquisition-of-issued-us-stem-cell-patent-300459902.html

SOURCE Creative Medical Technology Holdings, Inc.

Home

Go here to see the original:
Creative Medical Technology Holdings to Expand into 10 Billion Dollar per Year Lower Back Pain Market with … – PR Newswire (press release)

Canadian Doctors Like Cameron Clokie Are The Innovators Behind The New Era of Regenerative Medicine – French Tribune

Heavy increases in obesity have led to an epidemic of various heart diseases, including cardiac arrests and even strokes. These dangers have compelled doctors and research specialists to seek out new ways of managing these problems. One method that has been getting a lot of attention is regenerative medicine.

This treatment method, while occasionally controversial, shows an incredible potential that could solve many serious health problems. Specialists like Dr. Cameron Clokie, a health expert with decades of experience, are currently trying to find ways to make this treatment method more accepted by those who oppose it.

The Potential for Serious Health Benefits is Huge

Regenerative medicine is the use of stem cells and other regeneration items to promote more efficient healing. Dr. Cameron Clokie has preached about the effectiveness of this treatment method for years. And it seems like the rest of the world is finally catching up with him and others like him. For example, a recent study found that stem cells could help manage cardiac and nervous system diseases.

The careful use of stem cells could regenerate damaged heart tissues and help a person avoid heart attacks and other serious problems. Even more promising, stem cells could be used to help repair nerve damage that would otherwise leave a person paralyzed for life.

Stem Cell Research Could Save Lives

Think of the stem cells in your body as building blocks that will take whatever shape is necessary. They can become heart cells and patch a hole in this vital organ. However, they could also become spinal cells and repair severe damage to this crucial part of the body.

The possibilities associated with stem cells could be potentially limitless. As they can be manipulated to take the form of any cell, they could be used to treat a variety of serious health problems. For example, they could become white blood cells and fight serious viral problems. In fact, they could even be used to treat life-threatening diseases like AIDS.

One of the understated benefits of regenerative medicine is the way that it uses actual cells from your body. Think of the problems the medical world has had with artificial hearts. While they can be beneficial to many people, they are often rejected by the fickle body as an intruder. However, creating a working heart with your body’s stem cells would eliminate that problem.

Why? Your body would recognize the heart’s cells as coming from you and would accept it more readily. As a result, you could get a new (and real) heart to replace a severely damaged one.

Profit Levels Could Also Be High

One thing that has interested many people about regenerative health and stem cell research is the potential for huge profits. Many health experts have tried to stress the ways that regenerative health could help boost the world’s economy. For example, a recent study on the financial state of this market found that it had an $18.9 billion global impact.

Even more shocking, it was projected to hit $53 billion by 2021. The major focus of this market would be in bone and joint reconstruction. The United States was expected to potentially make the largest profits in this area, which is something Dr. Cameron Clokie has emphasized in the past.

However, the European market is projected to be even bigger if the currently somewhat stagnant American regenerative market is held back by restrictive regulations or laws. In this way, well-meaning politicians could deny their constituents access to lifesaving treatments and severely impact the market at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Regenerative medicine of the type proposed by Dr. Cameron Clokie and others like him could transform the medical world. While the protests of people who find stem cells wrong are understandable, the major benefits of using them cannot be ignored.

This fact is why it is so important to help specialists like Dr. Cameron Clokie get the help they need to promote regenerative medicine breakthroughs. In this way, it is possible to solve serious health dangers.

Read the original post:
Canadian Doctors Like Cameron Clokie Are The Innovators Behind The New Era of Regenerative Medicine – French Tribune

Stem cell therapy holds promise for treating most severe cases of … – Medical Xpress

May 11, 2017

An analysis of data from the entire development program consisting of three trials assessing the feasibility of using a stem cell therapy (CD34+ cells) to treat patients with the most severe cases of angina, refractory angina (RA), showed a statistically significant improvement in exercise time as well as a reduction in mortality. Results from “CD34+ Stem Cell Therapy Improves Exercise Time and Mortality in Refractory Angina: A Patient Level Meta-Analysis” were presented today as a late-breaking clinical trial at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2017 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

One of the warning signs of coronary artery disease is angina, or chest pain, which occurs when the heart muscle does not receive enough blood. Unlike angina pectoris or “stable angina,” which can often be treated with medication, RA can be incapacitating, impacting quality of life. In the most severe cases, those with class III or IV angina, treatment options are exhausted, and patients remain severely debilitated. Unfortunately, one of the untoward consequences of the improved survival of patients with chronic ischemic heart disease is more patients with refractory angina.

A meta-analysis of three trials that each showed promising results looked at injecting RA patients with autologous CD34+ cellswhich have been shown to increase blood flowand the therapy’s effect on mortality and total exercise time (TET), an important predictor of long-term mortality.

Data from 304 patients was extracted and analyzed from phase 1 (24 patients), ACT-34 and ACT-34 extension studies (168 patients), and RENEW (112 patients), which was prematurely terminated by the sponsor due to financial considerations.

“The goal of this meta-analysis was to combine patient level data from three very similar trials to try understand what it would tell us,” said lead investigator Tom Povsic, MD, FSCAI, associate professor at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and an interventional cardiologist at Duke University School of Medicine.

Results showed that patients treated with CD34+ cell therapy (n=187) improved TET by 80.5 12.1, 101.8 13.7, and 90.5 14.7 seconds at three months, six months, and 12 months compared with 28.1 15.7, 48.8 18.2, and 39.5 20.3 seconds for the placebo group (n=89), resulting in treatment effects of 52.5 (p=0.002), 52.9 (p=0.009) and 50.9 (p=0.027) seconds.

The relative risk of angina was 0.90 (p=0.40), 0.81 (p=0.14), and 0.79 (p=0.17) at three months, six months, and 12 months in CD34+ treated patients.

CD34+ treatment decreased mortality by 24 months (2.6 percent vs. 11.8 percent, p=0.003). In addition, major adverse cardiac events were less frequent (29.8 percent for CD34+ patients vs. 40.0 percent for the placebo group, p=0.08).

“Therapies for these patients are direly needed,” said Povsic, “and results from our meta-analysis are very compelling. Most importantly, the number of patients in our meta-analysis approximates those who were targetedfor enrollment in RENEW, the prematurely terminated phase III study. These results suggest that had RENEW been completed, a regenerative therapy for these patients might meet criteria for approval. I still think this therapy has a lot of promise.”

Timothy Henry, MD, chief of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, agrees “CD34+ cell therapy appears to be an extremely safe and effective therapy for this growing and challenging patient population with limited options.”

Explore further: Stem cell therapy shows potential for difficult-to-treat RA patient population

More information: Povsic presented “CD34+ Stem Cell Therapy Improves Exercise Time and Mortality in Refractory Angina: A Patient Level Meta-Analysis” on Thursday, May 11, 2017 11:30 a.m. CDT

A study using a stem cell therapy to treat challenging refractory angina (RA) patients demonstrated promising results, including improved exercise time, reduced angina and reduced mortality. The RENEW results were presented …

A two-year, multi-center clinical study with 167 patients with class III-IV refractory angina randomized to low and high dose CD34+ cells or placebo has revealed that patients who received either a high or low dose of CD34a …

The absolute cumulative probability of death at 12 months was 5 percent lower for patients who received routine invasive coronary angiography and revascularization as indicated during an unstable angina admission compared …

An injection of stem cells into the heart could offer hope to many of the 850,000 Americans whose chest pain doesn’t subside even with medicine, angioplasty or surgery, according to a study in Circulation Research: Journal …

(HealthDay)Reduced baseline levels of circulating CD34+ stem cells predict adverse cardiovascular outcomes for patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in Diabetes Care.

A non-surgical treatment that uses a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells to treat chest pain or angina improved both symptoms and the length of time treated patients could be physically active, according to preliminary research …

New research has found that genetic differences in antibody genes alter individuals’ susceptibility to rheumatic heart disease, a forgotten inflammatory heart condition known as ‘RHD’ that is rife in developing countries.

People who use commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain and inflammation could be raising their risk of having a heart attack, as early as in the first week of use and especially within …

(HealthDay)When someone goes into cardiac arrest, quick action from bystanders can have a long-lasting impact, researchers say.

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may have been wrongly blamed for muscle pain and weakness, said a study Wednesday that pointed the finger at a psychological phenomenon called the “nocebo” effect.

A new pilot study reports that Mexican-American stroke survivors are less likely to receive inpatient rehabilitation than non-Hispanic whites.

Less than half of individuals with peripheral artery disease, which is a narrowing of arteries to the limbs, stomach and head, are treated with appropriate medications and lifestyle counseling. These findings highlight the …

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

More here:
Stem cell therapy holds promise for treating most severe cases of … – Medical Xpress

Govt signs MoU to curb cardiac deaths in state – Times of India

Panaji: To ensure the number of emergency deaths due to cardiac-related problems are brought down, health minister Vishwajit Rane announced the signing of an MoU with ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) India. The organization, he said, has a protocol to handle cardiac emergency cases where such cases will be dealt with at the point of contact through the GVK 108 service.

Doctors will be trained to operate within the protocol he said, adding that it will help increase the window period after a cardiac attack and give treatment to a patient. “The whole idea is to save lives and if the window period is extended it will help saving lives of patients,” he said, adding that significant damage happens to a patient’s heart if the heart problem is not addressed.

“The problem is all casualty cases are referred to medicine and not directly to cardiology.” These, he said, should immediately be looked at by the cardiac team, he said, adding that a proposal has gone to the chief minister to add three more cardiac consultants to the cardiology wing so that 24 x7 services are made available for patients.

New fleet of 108 ambulance with trained personnel including motorcycle ambulances will be pressed into service by the end of June and first week of July, he said.

See more here:
Govt signs MoU to curb cardiac deaths in state – Times of India

Wanted: New Developer for Stem Cell Tx in Refractory Angina … – MedPage Today

NEW ORLEANS — The stem cells that have shown promise for refractory angina maintained their efficacy in a meta-analysis, as researchers once again made their case for a therapy long abandoned by its trial sponsor.

Their latest appeal: A pooling of three small, double-blind trials that randomized patients to CD34+ cell injections (n=187), placebo (n=89), and unblinded standard of care (n=28). Rates of major adverse cardiac events out to 24 months numerically favored CD34+ group (~30% versus ~40% for placebo injections, P=0.08). Deaths did reach statistical difference (~2% versus 12%, P=0.003).

Importantly, event rates were through the roof with open-label standard of care (75%), according to Thomas J. Povsic, MD, PhD, of Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., and colleagues at this year’s Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions meeting.

Although the placebo group improved its total exercise time, this metric was consistently around 50 seconds better in the CD34+ cohort (P

“We believe that this type of cell therapy for refractory angina is particularly promising and may improve both functional status and mortality,” according to the trialists. “It is imperative to explore methods to bring this therapy to patients.”

Lacking, however, is a funding source for clinical translation.

After going through several reorganizations, Baxter halted the RENEW trial in December 2013, reportedly for financial reasons rather than safety or efficacy problems. Povsic’s group marched on and reported last year that intramyocardial delivery of CD34+ cells was associated with fewer deaths and better exercise time.

Altogether, patients in the pooled analysis commonly had baseline diabetes (53%), hypertension (87%), hyperlipidemia (84%), and histories of percutaneous coronary intervention (88%) and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (91%).

Close to 90% were on beta blockers; over 80% on nitrates; and 50% on calcium channel blockers, Povsic added.

“It’s a shame that individual trials were stopped early. These are desperate patients that don’t have any therapy to help them. If I were to be a curmudgeon, however, I would say a 70% reduction in events — that gets attention, but that’s not realistic in an underpowered trial,” said session co-moderator Gregg W. Stone, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“And that extra minute: how does that translate into quality of life? Is that a meaningful difference?”

Povsic argued that drugs like ranolazine (Renaxa) have been FDA-approved for just 24-45 seconds of extra exercise time — enhanced external counter pulsation therapy was green-lighted for an improvement of just 16 seconds.

The researcher said it was possible that other companies may want to pick up where Baxter left off to file for expedited FDA approval or explore the regenerative therapies initiative of the 21st Century Cures Act.

Povsic had no disclosures listed.

RENEW, ACT-34, and parts of the current meta-analysis were funded by Baxter.

2017-05-11T17:37:32-0400

See original here:
Wanted: New Developer for Stem Cell Tx in Refractory Angina … – MedPage Today

Global Human Embryonic Stem Cells Market 2017: Government Initiatives & Medical Tourism are Accelerating this … – MilTech

Summary

Orbis Research Presents Global Human Embryonic Stem Cells Market Research Report which Examine into the present trends, highlights the recent market growth, sales volume, Demand Scenarios and Opportunities emerging for business players in the near future.

Description

The Global Human Embryonic Stem Cells Market is estimated to be USD XX billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD XX billion by 2022, registering a healthy CAGR of XX%, during 2017-2022 (forecast period).

The increase in malignant, cardiac, & neurological disorders, immediate need for effective and novel therapies, the rising human embryonic stem cell awareness and better healthcare infrastructure with government initiatives are expected to accelerate the global human embryonic stem cells market, during the forecast period.

The major companies discussed in this report are

A majority of companies are investing in the human embryonic stem cell research, globally. The high-prevalence of cardiac and malignant diseases, increasing R&D investments & research initiatives, increasing support from government & private institutions and rapid growth in medical tourism are accelerating the market growth. However, the stringent regulatory guidelines and ethical & moral concerns are restraining the market.

Get a PDF Sample of Global Human Embryonic Stem Cells Market Report at: http://www.orbisresearch.com/contacts/request-sample/280434

The global embryonic stem cells market is segmented based on application and geography. The applications segment includes regenerative medicine, stem cell biology research, tissue engineering and toxicology testing. Based on geography, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East & Africa and Latin America. The Asia-Pacific human embryonic stem cells market has the potential, owing to increasing initiatives of the governments & private organizations for research in human embryonic stem cells.

Key Deliverables

Market analysis, with region-specific assessments and competition analysis on a global and regional scale.

Market definition along with the identification of key drivers and restraints.

Identification of factors instrumental in changing the market scenario, growing prospective opportunities, and identification of key companies that can influence the market.

Extensively researched competitive landscape section with profiles of major companies, along with their market share.

Identification and analysis of the macro and micro factors that affect the market on both, global and regional scale.

A comprehensive list of key market players along with the analysis of their current strategic interests and key financial information.

A wide-range of knowledge and insights about the major players in the industry and the key strategies adopted by them to sustain and grow in the studied market

Insights on the major countries/regions where the industry is growing, and identify the regions that are still untapped.

See more here:
Global Human Embryonic Stem Cells Market 2017: Government Initiatives & Medical Tourism are Accelerating this … – MilTech

Tucson Tech: University of Arizona startup advances living heart patch – Arizona Daily Star

Repairing beating human hearts with living patches is the aim of Avery Therapeutics, a startup company founded on technology developed by University of Arizona researchers.

The company recently licensed a new heart-graft technology from the UA and is working to get it into human clinical trials to treat heart failure within a few years.

Avery was co-founded in 2014 by cardiologist Dr. Steve Goldman of the UAs Sarver Heart Center and Jordan Lancaster, who earned his UA doctorate in physiology while working in Goldmans lab.

Averys biologically active heart graft, dubbed MyCardia, combines commercially available living cells called fibroblasts, heart-muscle cells derived from stem cells and a biologically absorbable scaffold.

The resulting graft can be sewn onto a live heart where it can build up new muscle cells to improve heart function as it grows with the patients own tissue.

You can basically think of it as a living Band-Aid, said Lancaster, who is chief science officer of Avery.

Goldman and Lancaster began research in the area in 2009 at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, where Goldman was chief of cardiology, for a San Francisco-based company developing a heart graft using fibroblasts on a scaffold material to treat angina, or heart-related chest pain.

That project ended when studies showed little improvement with the graft, Lancaster said.

But Goldman and Lancaster extended the research at the UA, tapping Nobel Prize-winning technology developed by Japanese scientists using so-called induced pluripotent stem cells which have the ability to turn into any kind of cell to create a new kind of living heart patch.

The Avery research team already has published scientific studies showing improvement in heart function in rats treated with the heart patch.

Immersed in a nutritive medium, the companys prototype patches contract in rhythm, on their own.

Theyre waving or winking at you, every time you see them in the lab, Lancaster said.

Though much work remains to be done even to get to human clinical trials, Avery is proceeding apace to commercialize the technology with the help of Tech Launch Arizona, the UAs technology-commercialization arm.

Jen Koevary, who earned her doctorate in biomedical engineering from the UA, joined Avery as chief operating officer after helping the company as a business-development officer for TLA.

Avery also is being advised by Bruce Burgess, a TLA mentor-in-residence with more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in medical devices, diagnostics and drug delivery.

Though an approved product is still years away, the company has published numerous scientific papers, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in research grants and won one patent, with more in the pipeline.

In August, Avery was awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant of nearly $500,000 by the National Institutes of Healths National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to develop manufacturing, cryopreservation, storage and reconstitution methods for the MyCardia patch.

Lancaster noted that Phase I SBIR contracts are generally up to $150,000, so the much larger NIH grant was significant.

The company also has won a $750,000 grant through the UA from the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission, and $60,000 in cash and prizes at Tucsons Get Started business-pitch competition in October.

The company has delivered its pitch internationally, at the Falling Walls Venture conference in Berlin in November.

Last week, Avery presented at the TechCode event space in Mountain View, California, where Silicon Valley investors learned about the company along with four other UA spinoffs.

Koevary said the company will keep pitching its technology and writing grants to raise money for further studies, likely including a bid for a larger Phase II SBIR grant.

Avery plans to present its technology at the 2017 BIO International Convention one of the biggest biotech events in the world in San Diego in June.

Scientifically, the next step is to test the patch in large-animal studies using pigs, which provide a close match to humans, she said.

Theres a lot that still needs to be done, Koevary said, noting that induced pluripotent stem cells have been tested in just one clinical trial, a Japanese effort focused on treating the eye.

We have to do a lot of work on the manufacturing side, in proving we can manufacture a quality product every time, she said.

After the animal studies the company also will have to submit a rigorous lab-practices study, which the company hopes will pave the way to start human clinical trials by 2020, Koevary said.

Koevary said the company will likely need upward of $10 million to take the heart patch to human clinical trials.

Avery is working on a private investment round among friends and family, she said, adding that the company also is establishing relationships with investor groups and looking at partnerships with established biomedical companies.

Researchers worldwide are working on regenerative tissue therapies, including a University of Minnesota group that recently published a paper on a heart graft made by 3-D printing heart-muscle stem cells and growing them in the lab.

But Lancaster said Avery named for his daughters middle name has a big advantage with Goldman and his lab, which he said offers a rare combination of clinical expertise in cell culturing, bioengineering and animal modeling.

Being able to cover that spectrum has really allowed us to move faster than others, Lancaster said. I think weve got a very good head start on a lot of people.

Tucson Tech runs Thursdays or Sundays in the Star. Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner

More here:
Tucson Tech: University of Arizona startup advances living heart patch – Arizona Daily Star

Will Stem Cell Research Change Treatment of Heart Disease? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Q: Ive been reading a lot about stem cells recently. Willstem cell research change the treatment of heart disease?

A: Theres some exciting early data where scientists have been able to use stem cells for regeneration of cardiac tissue, in particular certain parts of the heart or maybe even an entire heart in mice or rats.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

However, its not been done yet in humans reliably and that would be the next step. If the research bears out, we may see this as an option for heart patients in perhaps five to 10 years.

The area where stem cells might first be used is in patients who have had damage to their heart because of a heart attack. These patients have scarring on the heart and that area of the heart is not beating anymore. If we can regenerate cardiac tissue to replace this scarred tissue, the hope is to get the heart fully working again.

Growing whole new hearts will likely be later down the line and will depend on the success of the research.

Preventive cardiologistHaitham Ahmed, MD, MPH

See original here:
Will Stem Cell Research Change Treatment of Heart Disease? – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic (blog)

Kidney research leads to surprising discovery about how the heart forms – Science Daily

Kidney research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine has unexpectedly led to a discovery about the formation of the heart, including the identification of a gene responsible for a deadly cardiac condition.

UVA scientists were surprised to discover that the heart’s inner lining forms from the same stem cells, known as “precursor cells,” that turn into blood. That means a single type of stem cell turns into both our blood and a portion of the organ that will pump it.

The researchers determined that a particular gene, S1P1, is vital for the proper formation of the heart. Without it, the heart tissue produced by the precursor cells develops a sponginess that compromises the heart’s ability to contract tightly and pump blood efficiently. In people, that is known as ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, a dangerous condition that often leads to early death.

“Many patients who suffer from untreatable chronic diseases, including heart and kidney diseases, are in waiting lists for limited organ transplantation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand what happens to the cells during disease and how can they be repaired,” said researcher Yan Hu, PhD. “Every organ is a complex machine built by many different cell types. Knowing the origin of each cell and which genes control their normal function are the foundations for scientists to decipher the disease process and eventually to find out how to guide the cells to self-repair or even to build up a brand new organ using amended cells from the patients.”

Far-Reaching Consequences

The researchers, led by Maria Luisa S. Sequeira-Lopez, MD, of UVA’s Child Health Research Center, were investigating how the kidney forms when they noted that the deletion of the S1P1 gene in research mice had deadly consequences elsewhere in the body. “We were studying the role of these genes in the development of the vasculature of the kidney,” she recalled. “The heart is the first organ that develops, and so when we deleted this gene in these precursor cells, we found that it resulted in abnormalities of the heart, severe edema, hemorrhage and low heart rate.”

That led them to look more closely at the heart. It was then that they discovered the gene deletion had caused thin heart walls and other cardiac problems in developing mice embryos. “So then we had to study the heart when the kidneys were still not even formed,” she said. “We had to go far outside our comfort zone.”

Their findings would prove unexpected even for scientists who specialize in the development of the heart. “For a long time, scientists believed that each organ developed independently of other organs, and the heart developed from certain stem cells and blood developed from blood stem cells,” explained researcher Brian C. Belyea, MD, of the UVA Children’s Hospital. “A number of studies done in this lab and others, including this work, shows that there’s much more plasticity in these precursor cells. What we found is that cardiac precursor cells that are present in the embryonic heart do indeed give rise to components of the heart in adults but also give rise to the blood cells.”

The researchers were so surprised by their discovery that they went back and validated their findings repeatedly, using multiple techniques, including new techniques that they developed.

Belyea said that the discovery about the important role of the S1P1 gene may one day lead to better treatments for that condition. “We hope,” he said, “that this is a stepping stone for our clinical colleagues.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Virginia Health System. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

See the original post:
Kidney research leads to surprising discovery about how the heart forms – Science Daily

Fixing broken hearts through tissue engineering – Science Daily

The third annual Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium met at the University of Alabama at Birmingham last month, a gathering of noted physicians and scientists who share the goal of creating new tissues and new knowledge that can prevent or repair heart disease and heart attacks.

Talks ranged from the cutting-edge translational work of Phillippe Menasche, M.D., Ph.D., professor of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, Paris Descartes University, to the basic biology research of Sean Wu, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. Menasche’s work pioneers human treatment with engineered heart tissue. Wu’s work opens the door to generating heart chamber-specific cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells, which act similarly to embryonic stem cells, having the potential to differentiate into any type of cell.

Menasche has placed engineered heart tissue derived from embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac cells onto the hearts of six heart attack patients in France in an initial safety study for this engineered tissue approach. Wu has used single-cell RNA sequencing to show 18 categories of cardiomyocytes in the heart, differing by cell type and anatomical location, even though they all derived from the same lineage.

“We are creating a new community of engineer-scientists,” said Jay Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering. In their welcoming remarks, both Selwyn Vickers, M.D., dean of the UAB School of Medicine, and Victor Dzau, M.D., professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and president of the National Academy of Medicine, spoke of the growing convergence between scientists and physicians that is leading to tremendous possibilities to improve patient care.

The tissue engineering field is moving fast.

Cardiac progenitor cells that can contribute to growth or repair injury in the heart were only discovered in 2003, says symposium presenter Michael Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech College of Engineering and Emory University School of Medicine. In 2006, the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka first showed how to transform adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. This potentially provides feedstock for tissue engineering using either pluripotent cells or specific progenitor cells for certain tissue lineages.

One example of the pace of change was given by Bjorn Knollman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Knollman noted an “ugly truth” that everyone recognized in 2013 — that cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells were nothing like normal adult cardiomyocytes in shape, size and function.

He described the improved steps like culturing the derived cardiomyocytes in a Matrigel mattress and giving them a 14-day hormone treatment that have led to derived cardiomyocytes with greatly improved cell volume, morphology and function. His take-home message: In just four years, from 2013 to 2017, researchers were able to remove the differences between induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and normal adult cardiomyocytes.

In other highlights of the symposium, Joo Soares, Ph.D., a research scientist for the Center for Cardiovascular Simulation, University of Texas at Austin, explained how subjecting engineered heart valve tissue to cyclic flexure as it is grown in a bioreactor leads to improved quantity, quality and distribution of collagen, as opposed to tissue that is not mechanically stressed.

Sumanth Prabhu, M.D., professor and chair of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease, UAB School of Medicine, talked about the role of immune cells in cardiac remodeling and heart failure. He noted the distinct phases after a heart attack — acute inflammation and dead tissue degradation, zero to four days; the healing phase of resolution and repair, four to 14 days; and the chronic ischemic heart failure that can occur weeks to months later. Prabhu described experiments to show how specialized spleen macrophages — specifically marginal-zone metallophilic macrophages — migrate to the heart after a heart attack and are required for heart repair to commence.

Nenad Bursac, Ph.D., professor of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University School of Medicine, described his advances in engineering vascularized heart tissue for repair after a heart attack. Bursac said a better understanding of how to grow the tissue from heart tissue progenitor cells has allowed formation of mature “giga” patches up to 4 centimeters square that have good propagation of heartbeat contractions and spontaneous formation of capillaries from derived-vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. These patches are being tested in pigs.

Duke University’s Victor Dzau gave a perspective of the paracrine hypothesis over the past 15 years. In 2003, researchers had seen that applying mesenchymal stem cells to a heart attack area led to improved heart function, with beneficial effects seen as early as 72 hours. However, there was little engraftment and survival of the stem cells. Thus was born the hypothesis, which has been worked out in detail since then — that stem cells do their work by release of biologically active factors that act on other cells, similar to the way that paracrine hormones have their effect only in the vicinity of the gland secreting it.

Joseph Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, showed how heart cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells could be used to develop personalized medicine approaches for cancer patients. The problem, he explained, is that some cancer patients are susceptible to a deadly cardiotoxicity when treated with the potent drug doxorubicin. Hence, the drug has a black box warning, the strictest warning mandated by the Food and Drug Administration. Wu was able to use a library of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes to associate certain genotypes and phenotypes with doxorubicin sensitivity, in what he called a “clinical trial in a dish.” From this knowledge, it will be possible to look at the transcriptome profile in patient-specific cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to predict patient-specific drug safety and efficacy, thus fulfilling the definition of precision medicine — the right treatment at the right time to the right person.

In all, UAB’s Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium included more than 30 presentations. The entire symposium will be summarized in a paper for the journal Circulation Research, expected to be published shortly, Zhang says.

Presentations of the 2015 Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and the presentations of the 2016 Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium were published in the journal Circulation Research.

Read the original post:
Fixing broken hearts through tissue engineering – Science Daily

Kidney research leads to heart discovery – Newsplex – The Charlottesville Newsplex

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) — Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine were looking into kidneys and learned more about the formation of the heart.

They also identified a gene that is responsible for a deadly cardiac condition.

According to a release, scientists discovered the heart’s inner lining forms from the same stem cells, known as precursor cells, that turn into blood.

That means a single type of stem cell created both the blood and part of the organ that pumps it.

A particular gene, called S1P1, is necessary for the proper formation of the heart, and without it, the tissue develops a sponginess that compromises the heart’s ability to contract tightly and pump blood efficiently.

That condition is called ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, which often leads to early death.

“Many patients who suffer from untreatable chronic disease, including heart and kidney disease, are in waiting lists for limited organ transplantation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand what happens to the cells during disease and how can they be repaired,” said researchers Yan Hu, PhD. “Every organ is a complex machine built by many different cell types. Knowing the origin of each cell and which genes control their normal function are the foundations for scientists to decipher the disease process and eventually to find out how to guide the cells to self-repair or even to build up a brand new organ using amended cells from the patients.”

The researchers were looking into how the kidneys form when they noted a deletion of the S1P1 gene in research mice led to deadly consequences elsewhere in the bodies of the mice.

“We were studying the role of these genes in the development of the vasculature of the kidney,” said Maris Luisa S. Sequeira-Lopez, MD, of UVA’s Child Health Research Center. “The heart is the first organ that develops, and so when we deleted this gene in these precursor cells, we found that it resulted in abnormalities of the heart, severe edema, hemorrhage and low heart rate.”

In looking closer at the heart, the researchers discovered the gene deletion caused thin heart walls and other cardiac problems in developing mice embryos.

“For a long time, scientists believed that each organ developed independently of other organs, and the heart developed from certain stem cells and blood developed from blood stem cells,” said researcher Brian C. Belyea, MD, of the UVA Children’s Hospital. “A number of studies done in this lab and others, including this work, shows that there’s much more plasticity in these precursor cells. What we found is that cardiac precursor cells that are present in the embryonic heart do indeed give rise to components of the heart in adults but also give rise to the blood cells.”

He also said the discovery may one day lead to the development of better treatments for the cardiac condition.

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Link:
Kidney research leads to heart discovery – Newsplex – The Charlottesville Newsplex

Fixing Broken Hearts Through Tissue Engineering – Newswise (press release)

Newswise BIRMINGHAM, Ala. The third annual Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium met at the University of Alabama at Birmingham last month, a gathering of noted physicians and scientists who share the goal of creating new tissues and new knowledge that can prevent or repair heart disease and heart attacks.

Talks ranged from the cutting-edge translational work of Phillippe Menasche, M.D., Ph.D., professor of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, Paris Descartes University, to the basic biology research of Sean Wu, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. Menasches work pioneers human treatment with engineered heart tissue. Wus work opens the door to generating heart chamber-specific cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells, which act similarly to embryonic stem cells, having the potential to differentiate into any type of cell.

Menasche has placed engineered heart tissue derived from embryonic stem cell-derived cardiac cells onto the hearts of six heart attack patients in France in an initial safety study for this engineered tissue approach. Wu has used single-cell RNA sequencing to show 18 categories of cardiomyocytes in the heart, differing by cell type and anatomical location, even though they all derived from the same lineage.

We are creating a new community of engineer-scientists, said Jay Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor of the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering. In their welcoming remarks, both Selwyn Vickers, M.D., dean of the UAB School of Medicine, and Victor Dzau, M.D., professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and president of the National Academy of Medicine, spoke of the growing convergence between scientists and physicians that is leading to tremendous possibilities to improve patient care.

The tissue engineering field is moving fast.

Cardiac progenitor cells that can contribute to growth or repair injury in the heart were only discovered in 2003, says symposium presenter Michael Davis, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech College of Engineering and Emory University School of Medicine. In 2006, the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka first showed how to transform adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. This potentially provides feedstock for tissue engineering using either pluripotent cells or specific progenitor cells for certain tissue lineages.

One example of the pace of change was given by Bjorn Knollman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Knollman noted an ugly truth that everyone recognized in 2013 that cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells were nothing like normal adult cardiomyocytes in shape, size and function.

He described the improved steps like culturing the derived cardiomyocytes in a Matrigel mattress and giving them a 14-day hormone treatment that have led to derived cardiomyocytes with greatly improved cell volume, morphology and function. His take-home message: In just four years, from 2013 to 2017, researchers were able to remove the differences between induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and normal adult cardiomyocytes.

In other highlights of the symposium, Joo Soares, Ph.D., a research scientist for the Center for Cardiovascular Simulation, University of Texas at Austin, explained how subjecting engineered heart valve tissue to cyclic flexure as it is grown in a bioreactor leads to improved quantity, quality and distribution of collagen, as opposed to tissue that is not mechanically stressed.

Sumanth Prabhu, M.D., professor and chair of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease, UAB School of Medicine, talked about the role of immune cells in cardiac remodeling and heart failure. He noted the distinct phases after a heart attack acute inflammation and dead tissue degradation, zero to four days; the healing phase of resolution and repair, four to 14 days; and the chronic ischemic heart failure that can occur weeks to months later. Prabhu described experiments to show how specialized spleen macrophages specifically marginal-zone metallophilic macrophages migrate to the heart after a heart attack and are required for heart repair to commence.

Nenad Bursac, Ph.D., professor of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University School of Medicine, described his advances in engineering vascularized heart tissue for repair after a heart attack. Bursac said a better understanding of how to grow the tissue from heart tissue progenitor cells has allowed formation of mature giga patches up to 4 centimeters square that have good propagation of heartbeat contractions and spontaneous formation of capillaries from derived-vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. These patches are being tested in pigs.

Duke Universitys Victor Dzau gave a perspective of the paracrine hypothesis over the past 15 years. In 2003, researchers had seen that applying mesenchymal stem cells to a heart attack area led to improved heart function, with beneficial effects seen as early as 72 hours. However, there was little engraftment and survival of the stem cells. Thus was born the hypothesis, which has been worked out in detail since then that stem cells do their work by release of biologically active factors that act on other cells, similar to the way that paracrine hormones have their effect only in the vicinity of the gland secreting it.

Joseph Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, showed how heart cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells could be used to develop personalized medicine approaches for cancer patients. The problem, he explained, is that some cancer patients are susceptible to a deadly cardiotoxicity when treated with the potent drug doxorubicin. Hence, the drug has a black box warning, the strictest warning mandated by the Food and Drug Administration. Wu was able to use a library of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes to associate certain genotypes and phenotypes with doxorubicin sensitivity, in what he called a clinical trial in a dish. From this knowledge, it will be possible to look at the transcriptome profile in patient-specific cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to predict patient-specific drug safety and efficacy, thus fulfilling the definition of precision medicine the right treatment at the right time to the right person.

In all, UABs Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium included more than 30 presentations. The entire symposium will be summarized in a paper for the journal Circulation Research, expected to be published shortly, Zhang says.

Presentations of the 2015 Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and the presentations of the 2016 Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering Symposium were published in the journal Circulation Research.

At UAB, Zhang holds the T. Michael and Gillian Goodrich Endowed Chair of Engineering Leadership, Vickers holds the James C. Lee Jr. Endowed Chair for the Dean of the School of Medicine, and Prabhu holds the Mary Gertrude Waters Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine.

See more here:
Fixing Broken Hearts Through Tissue Engineering – Newswise (press release)

BWH settles research fraud allegations – Mission Hill Gazette

Brigham and Womens Hospital (BWH) will pay $10 million to resolve allegations that one of their stem cell research laboratories fraudulently obtained grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to a press release.

As per federal regulations and institutional policy requirements, BWH conducted an investigation that identified data integrity concerns in federally funded grant applications submitted by the Anversa lab. After learning of and investigating the allegations of misconduct in the Anversa laboratory, BWH disclosed its concerns to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and Office of Research Integrity.

BWH independently evaluated the issues relative to the federal false claims requirements, said Lori Schroth, media relations manager at BWH. Following that evaluation, BWH self-disclosed this matter to appropriate government entities and ceased drawing implicated funds.

The settlement resolves the allegations against Dr. Piero Anversa, who ran the laboratory, and Drs. Annarossa Leri and Jan Kajstura. Allegedly, the doctors knew or should have known that their laboratory published and relied upon manipulated and falsified information including microscope images and carbon-14 age data for cells, according to the press release. This information was used in applications for NIH research grant awards concerning the purported ability of stem cells to repair damage to the heart.

The settlement also resolves allegations that the laboratory followed improper protocols, inaccurately characterized cardiac stem cells, and kept recklessly or deliberately misleading records, according to the press release.

Drs. Anversa, Leri, and Kajstura are no longer affiliated with BWH, and the lab has since been closed.

BWH is committed to ensuring that research conducted at the institution is done under the most rigorous scientific standards, and has made significant enhancements to research integrity compliance protocols as a result of this event, said Schroth.

Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said in the press release that individuals and institutions that receive research funding from NIH have an obligation to conduct their research honestly and not to alter results to conform with unproven hypotheses.

Medical research fraud not only wastes scarce government resources but also undermines the scientific process and the search for better treatments for serious diseases, Weinreb said, according to the press release. We commend Brigham and Womens for self-disclosing the allegations of fraudulent research at the Anversa laboratory, and for taking steps to prevent future recurrences of such conduct.

More:
BWH settles research fraud allegations – Mission Hill Gazette

stem cells – Shirley’s Wellness Cafe

Aqua Botanical Stem Cell Therapy

Ethical concerns have slowed embryonic medical research into applications for stem cells. Also, the embryonic stem cells can unpredictably cause cancer in the treated patient.

New research demonstrate that Stem cell nutrition dereived from aqua botanical source supports the natural role of adult stem cells. These plant stem cell extracts are typically derived from certain edible algae that grows in fresh water.

When there is an injury or a stress to an organ, compounds are released that reach the bone marrow and trigger the release of stem cells. Stem Cells can be thought of as master cells. Stem cells circulate and function to replace dysfunctional cells, thus fulfilling the natural process of maintaining optimal health

Dr. Robert Sampson, MD on stem cell nutrition – “… we have a product that has been shown and demonstrated in the patent to increase the level of adult circulating stem cells by up to 30%. It seems to me we’re having a great opportunity here to optimize the body’s natural ability to create health.”

Stem cell nutrition are typically aquatic botanicals and support wellness by assisting the body in its ability to maintain healthy stem cell physiology, production, and placement. Just as antioxidants are important to protect your cells from free radical damage, stem cell nutrition is equally important to support your stem cells in maintaining proper organ and tissue functioning in your body.

The health benefits of having more stem cells in the blood circulation have been demonstrated by numerous scientific studies. It would be too long here to summarize this vast body of scientific data. I simply suggest you research the work of Dr. Donald Orlic at the National Institute of Health.

The theory that Adult Stem Cells are nothing less than the human body’s natural self-renewal system has profound implications for every area of modern medicine. The idea that heart disease, diabetes, liver degeneration, and other conditions could be things of the past is no longer science fiction; because of recent Adult Stem Cell research breakthroughs, these are real possibilities in the short term.

Stem cells are defined as cells with the unique capacity to self-replicate throughout the entire life of an organism and to differentiate into cells of various tissues. Most cells of the body are specialized and play a well-defined role in the body. For example, brain cells respond to electrical signals from other brain cells and release neurotransmitters; cells of the retina are activated by light, and pancreatic -cells produce insulin. These cells, called somatic cells, will never differentiate into other types of cells or even proliferate. By contrast, stem cells are primitive cells that remain undifferentiated until they receive a signal prompting them to become various types of specialized cells.

Dr. Cliff Minter – “Stem cells are the most powerful cells in the body. We know that stem cells, once they’re circulating in the bloodstream, will travel to any area of the body that has been compromised or damaged and turn into healthy cells. There have been controversial discussions about the new stem cells found in embryos, but the truth is that everyone has adult stem cells in their own bodies. We are all created from stem cells.

As a child or a young adult, your body automatically releases stem cells whenever you injure yourself. That’s why you heal so fast when you are younger. After about age 35, we don’t heal as fast anymore, because the stem cells aren’t released the same way as when we are younger. Stem cell nutrition helps all of us heal our bodies. If you look at the New England Journal of Medicine, you’ll find that the number one indicator of a healthy heart is the number of stem cells circulating in the body. Stem cell nutrition is the organic and all-natural way to stimulate the bone marrow to release adult stem cells into the bloodstream.

By taking stem cell nutrition, you can maintain optimum health and aid your body in healing itself. It’s certainly a better way to recuperate from an illness than using prescription drugs, because even when a medication works, it can often be hard on your liver and the rest of your body. Stem cell nutrition has no negative side effects. This makes it a powerful approach to healing and good health in general.

I found out about stem cell nutrition after someone asked for my opinion on it. I did some research and found it to be one of the greatest ways to slow down aging that we have. Aging is nothing more than the breakdown of cells. Stem cell nutrition combats that action. As cells break down, stem cell nutrition replaces them with healthy cells. This is the greatest, most natural anti-aging method I know. I was skeptical at first, but the results I’ve personally seen in people I’ve talked with have been wide-ranged. Lots of people have reported an increase in energy and better sleeping patterns.

I’ve seen people with arthritis in various parts of their bodies reverse the disease, and people with asthma end up with their lungs totally clear. One person that was on oxygen almost 24/7 is now totally off of oxygen. Two ladies who suffered badly from PMS told me they were 100 percent symptom-free within weeks of starting the stem cell nutrition. Two people I know had tennis elbow which usually takes about six to nine months to heal. Within weeks of taking stem cell nutrition, both report their “tennis elbow” is gone. It makes sense, because stem cells go to whatever area is compromised and turn into healthy cells.

I use stem cell nutrition as a preventative. I’ve noticed an increase in my energy level and an improved sleeping pattern. Stem cell nutrition has zero negative side effects, is very powerful, and we know how it works. It’s good for children as well as adults. This is the best, most natural way I know to optimum health. If you just want to use it for prevention, this is the best thing I know for staying healthy. And if you do those and regaining optimum health. I recommend it to everybody.”

Dr. Cliff Minter (retired) graduated from Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine. He completed his residency at the Hugar Surgery Center in the Hines Veteran Administration Hospital in Illinois before going into private practice in Ventura, CA. Dr. Minter is a national and international speaker on the subjects of business and nutritional products.

The Stem Cell Theory of Renewal proposes that stem cells are naturally released by the bone marrow and travel via the bloodstream toward tissues to promote the body’s natural process of renewal. When an organ is subjected to a process that requires renewal, such as the natural aging process, this organ releases compounds that trigger the release of stem cells from the bone marrow. The organ also releases compounds that attracts stem cells to this organ. The released stem cells then follow the concentration gradient of these compounds and leave the blood circulation to migrate to the organ where they proliferate and differentiate into cells of this organ, supporting the natural process of renewal.

Most of the cells in the human body are specialists assigned to a specific organ or type of tissue, such as the neuronal cells that wire the brain and central nervous system. Stem cells are different. When they divide, they can produce either more stem cells, or they can serve as progenitors that differentiate into specialized cells as they mature. Hence the name, because specialist cells can “stem” from them. The potential to differentiate into specialist cells whose populations in the body have become critically depleted as the result of illness or injury is what makes stem cells so potentially valuable to medical research.

The idea is that if the fate of a batch of stem cells could be directed down specific pathways, they could be grown, harvested, and then transplanted into a problem area. If all went according to plan, these new cells would overcome damaged or diseased cells, leading to healing and recovery. “The life of a stem cell can be viewed as a hierarchical branching process, where the cell is faced with a series of fate switches,” Schaffer says. “Our goal is to identify the cell fate switches, and then provide stem cells with the proper signals to guide them down a particular developmental trajectory.”

Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function. Scientists believe it should be possible to harness this ability to turn stem cells into a super “repair kit” for the body.

Scientist and author Christian Drapeau explains how the Stem Cell enhancers function to maximize human performance – Supporting the release of stem cells from the bone marrow and increasing the number of circulating stem cells improves various aspects of human health. For very active and sports focused people, Stem Cells are the raw materials to repair micro-tears and micro-injuries created during training. The results, according to Drapeau, are that active people, whether former NBA stars or amateur weekenders, can exercise more intensely at each training session with the ultimate consequence of greater performance.

Theoretically, it should be possible to use stem cells to generate healthy tissue to replace that either damaged by trauma, or compromised by disease. Among the conditions which scientists believe may eventually be treated by stem cell therapy are Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, burns and spinal cord damage.

Both of my big dogs have gained their youth back. I am a true believer in Stem Cell Nutrition for pets as it has provided a spectacular change in both Ginger and Rowdy. Sonya, IN

Stem cell nutrition for dogs, horses and other animals are specially formulated to be a delectable treat for your animal. The pet chewables and equine blends make it easy to provide your animals with this valuable nutritional supplement. The most common story is that of old, tired and sluggish dogs turned within a week or so into active, alert dogs running around like puppies. The same was observed in horses. Old horses who used to remain standing in the barn or under a tree, sluggish or stricken by too much discomfort to walk around, suddenly began moving about, and at times running and bucking like young colts. One of the most common reports was obvious improvements in hoof health and coat appearance.

times. When there is an injury or a stress to an organ of your beloved pet or horse, compounds are released that reach the bone marrow and trigger the release of stem cells. Stem Cells can be thought of as master cells. Stem cells circulate and function to replace dysfunctional cells, thus fulfilling the natural process of maintaining optimal health.

As they do in humans, adult stem cells reside in animals bone marrow, where they are released whenever there is a problem somewhere in the body. Looking back on stem cell research, we realize that most studies have been done with animals, mostly mice, but also with dogs, horses, pigs, sheep and cattle. These studies have revealed that animal stem cells conduct themselves the same way human stem cells do. When there is an injury or a stress to an organ of your beloved pet or horse, compounds are released that reach the bone marrow and trigger the release of stem cells. The stem cells then travel to tissues and organs in need of help to regain optimal health.

Eve-Marie Lucerne – Eve-Marie keeps nine horses, all older thoroughbreds, and was eager to participate in the trials of a new stem cell enhancer for horses. She shared her allotment of test products with a few large commercial thoroughbred farms, veterinarians and other horse people she knows, and has been pleased with the consistently excellent results she has seen and others have reported to her. This product will help so many animals, she says, adding, People and animals are more alike than we are different. So it makes sense that a stem cell enhancer for animals with promote their health, too.

Eve-Marie’s Equine Stem Cells Nutrition show dramatic results. For several horses facing serious physical challenges, cases where the animals might have to be put down, we saw a return to quality of life. This did not happen before Equine Stem Cell Nutrition. Eve-Marie says that this turnaround was quick, less than two weeks in many cases, and that the subject horses were back to health and enjoying pasture life within a month. One of the unofficial trial subjects for the equine stem cell nutrition was a 30-year old donkey who was in bad shape, Eve-Marie reports. He hadchronic respiratory difficulty and could move about only haltingly. His owner had stem cell enhancer supplements to help with her own serious health challenges and shared it with the donkey. The donkey’s owner says this is the first time she wasn’t sick, and her donkey is walking all around, feeling great an enjoying life again!

Farrier and National Hoof practitioner Stephen Dick received some of the trial product from Eve-Marie, and had good results with the two horses he selected for trial. For a 12-year-old quarterhorse stallion, the equine product brought dramatic results. This horse used to lie down twenty-two hours of the day, because he suffered discomfort whenever he stood, Steve reports, continuing, after a couple of weeks with Equine Stem Cell Nutrition, he was getting up and moving around, showing no discomfort. For a high-spirited mare with a leg problem, the equine product brought about a whole new lease on life, Steve says. This horse had been in a stall for 8 months. After about 6 weeks taking the equine product with her grain, her condition had improved and she was out of the stall, walking around in the pasture again.

Little Joe, a small 18-year-old quarter horse that Judy Fisher bought when he was nearly 400 pounds underweight. You could count his ribs, Judy says, remembering, and his backbone stuck up like a ridge all along his back. He was very, very thin! Little Joe also suffered from breathing problems that kept him lethargic and inactive. Vet-recommended remedies were unsuccessful in changing Little Joe’s physical problems, and the vet told Judy he didn’t expect Little Joe to live through the winter. I figured Little Joe was in such bad shape that anything was worth a try, she says.

She began giving the horse stem cell nutrition with his feed and grain twice a day. Within a couple of weeks, Judy was surprised to see Little Joe beginning to gain weight and run, buck, snort and kick. His breathing was no longer labored and his skin and coat were improving. Within six weeks Little Joe’s overall appearance had changed dramatically. He had put on almost 300 pounds. When his former owner came to visit, Judy says, he didn’t recognize Little Joe. That’s how different he looked!

Sara participated in the stem cell nutrition product trials with her two horses and her 80-pound mixed-breed dog. She noted significant improvement in the health and quality of life for all three animals during the time of the trials. For JJ, Sara’s 18-year old quarterhorse, the equine product brought about improvements in his overall mood, appearance and alertness quickly. He really liked the product from the beginning, Sara reports, pointing out that Hank, her 16-year-old thoroughbred/quarterhorse, had not taken to the taste of it too readily. I was able to slowly wean him on it though, she says. For Hank, the equine product was a balm for the skin problems resulting from his allergy to fly bites.

His skin condition improved dramatically. Sara reports, noting that before the equine product the horse had scratched and bitten himself into ope wounds; after the equine product, the scratching and biting dropped off to almost nothing. Sara also noticed an increase in Hank’s energy and liveliness in the first week on the equine product. The horse’s foot and hip discomforts also responded well, leading to a noticeable increase in his mobility and an overall improvement in his quality of life throughout the two-month study.

Sara gave the pet product to her dog, Roxy, who had suffered for two years with ear problems that led to scratching, often until her skin was raw. Vet-recommended remedies had been temporary, quick-fixes, Sara says, but the discomfort always returned with a vengeance. For the pet trials, Sara gave Roxy two tabs of the product a day for two months, noting this is the only supplement she was getting. Sara says Roxy’s problem with her ears definitely improved, the hair as grown back on her head and ears, and the ear problem has not recurred, adding that Roxy is happier and engaging, more playful.

The National Health Institute lists seventy-four treatable diseases using ASCs in therapy – an invasive and costly procedure of removing the stem cells from one’s bone marrow (or a donor’s bone marrow) and re-injecting these same cells into an area undergoing treatment. For example, this procedure is sometimes done before a cancer patient undergoes radiation. Healthy stem cells from the bone marrow are removed and stored, only to be re-inserted after radiation into the area of the body in need of repair. This is a complex and expensive procedure, not accessible to the average person. However, there is now a way that every single person, no matter what their health condition, can have access to the benefits of naturally supporting their body’s innate ability to repair every organ and tissue using stem cell nutrition.

David A. Prentice, Ph.D. – “Within just a few years, the possibility that the human body contains cells that can repair and regenerate damaged and diseased tissue has gone from an unlikely proposition to a virtual certainty. Adult stem cells have been isolated from numerous adult tissues, umbilical cord, and other non-embryonic sources, and have demonstrated a surprising ability for transformation into other tissue and cell types and for repair of damaged tissues.

A new U.S. study involving mice suggests the brain’s own stem cells may have the ability to restore memory after an injury. These neural stem cells work by protecting existing cells and promoting neuronal connections. In their experiments, a team at the University of California, Irvine,were able to bring the rodents’ memory back to healthy levels up to three months after treatment. The finding could open new doors for treatment of brain injury, stroke and dementia, experts say.

“This is one of the first reports that you can take a stem cell transplantation approach and restore memory,” said lead researcher Mathew Blurton-Jones, a postdoctorate fellow at the university. “There is a lot of awareness that stem cells might be useful in treating diseases that cause loss of motor function, but this study shows that they might benefit memory in stroke or traumatic brain injury, and potentially Alzheimer’s disease.”

In the study, published in the Oct. 31 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, Blurton-Jones and his colleagues used genetically engineered mice that naturally develop brain lesions. The researchers destroyed cells in a brain area called the hippocampus. These cells are known to be vital to memory formation and it is in this region that neurons often die after injury, the researchers explained. To test the mice’s memory, Blurton-Jones’s group conducted place and object recognition tests with both healthy mice and brain-injured mice.

Healthy mice remembered their surroundings about 70 percent of the time, while brain-injured mice remembered it only 40 percent of the time. For objects, healthy mice recalled objects about 80 percent of the time, but injured mice remembered them only 65 percent of the time. The researchers then injected each mouse with about 200,000 neural stem cells. They found that mice with brain injuries that received the stem cells now remembered their surroundings about 70 percent of the time — the same as healthy mice. However, mice that didn’t receive stem cells still had memory deficits.

The researchers also found that in healthy mice injected with stem cells, the stem cells traveled throughout the brain. In contrast, stem cells given to injured mice lingered in the hippocampus. Only about 4 percent of those stem cells became neurons, indicating that the stem cells were repairing existing cells to improve memory, rather than replacing the dead brain cells, Blurton-Jones’s team noted. The researchers are presently doing another study with mice stricken with Alzheimer’s. “The initial results are promising,” Blurton-Jones said. “This has a huge potential, but we have to be cautious about not rushing into the clinic too early.”

One expert is optimistic about the findings. “Putting in these stem cells could eventually help in age-related memory decline,” said Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. “There is clearly a therapeutic potential to this.” Sanberg noted that for the process to work with Alzheimer’s it has to work with older brains. “There is clearly therapeutic potential in humans, but there are a lot of hurdles to overcome,” he said. “This is another demonstration of the potential for neural stem cells in brain disorders.”.

Dr. Nancy White Ph.D.- ” I’ve always been interested in health generally and in particular the brain, focusing on the balance of neurotransmitters. I often do quantitative EEG’s for assessment of my patients. I’m impressed with the concept of a natural product like stem cell nutrition that could help release adult stem cells from the bone mass where the body would have no objection and no rejection. I’ve tried stem cell nutrition for general health anti-aging. After taking it for a time, I fell more agile and my joints are far more flexible. I was astounded while doing yoga that I was suddenly able to bend over and touch my forehead to my knees. I haven’t been able to do that comfortably in probably twenty years. I noticed how much better my balance has become. I believe stem cell nutrition is responsible for these effects, because I certainly haven’t been trained extensively in yoga. Also since taking stem cell nutrition, I feel better and my skin is more moist and has a finer texture.

A bald friend of mine, who is also taking the stem cell nutrition, had several small cancers on top of his head. His doctor had removed one from his arm already, and his dermatologist set a date to remove those from his scalp. Before the appointment, my friend was shaving one morning and, looking in the mirror, saw that the cancers were all gone. They had disappeared within a few weeks of starting the stem cell nutrition and his skin is better overall. Also, his knee, which he’d strained playing tennis, was like new. Stem cell nutrition seems to go where the body’s priority is. You never know what the affect is going to be, but you notice something is changing. Another friend of mine seems to be dropping years. Her skin looks smoother and her face younger. After about six weeks on the stem cell nutrition, she looks like she’s ten years younger. A woman who gives her regular facials asked what she was doing, because her skin looked so much different. Stem cell nutrition is remarkable and could help anybody. Everybody should try it, because it’s natural and there are no risks. As we grow older in years, we still can have good health. That’s the ideal. Even if you don’t currently have a problem, stem cell nutrition is a preventative.” Dr. White holds a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology, an MA in Behavioral Science, and a B.F.A. in Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude. In addition, she is licensed in the State of Texas as a Psychologist , a Marriage and Family Therapist and as a Chemical Dependency Counselor.

Fernando Aguila, M.D. – “Due to a heavy patient load, I have recently found that I tire more easily, my legs are cramping, and by the time I get home, even my shoulders and rib cage hurt. I knew I had to find a way to increase my stamina, energy and vitality. A friend gave me information about stem cell nutrition and how it promotes the release of stem cells in the body. One of the components apparently promotes the migration of the stem cells to tissues or organs where regeneration and repair is needed most. My attention was drawn to the fact that it can increase energy, vitality, wellness, concentration, and much more. It sounded just like what I needed. Since then, I’ve heard reports of people experiencing excellent results in a number of different areas in their health. The improvements sounded dramatic. Because of all of their testimonies, I was willing to believe it could promote wellness in the human body.

I tried stem cell nutrition myself. After a day, of hard work, I realized I wasn’t tired at all, my legs were not aching, and I didn’t have any shoulder pain. I decided the stem cell nutrition must be working. I continued to take it, and was able to work so efficiently and steadily that one surgeon commented that I was moving like a ball of fire. Stem cell nutrition gives me support physically and mentally. I look forward to seeing what the major medical journals have to say about the studies being done with this new approach to wellness.” Fernando Aguila, M.D., graduated from the University of Santa Thomas in Manila , Philippines. He finished his internship at Cambridge City Hospital, Cambridge, MA and completed his residency at the New England Medical Center in Boston, MA. He obtained a fellowship in OB-GYN anesthesia at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in cardio-thoracic anesthesia at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, OH.

Christian Drapeau is America’s best known advocate for Adult Stem Cell science health applications and the founder of the field of Stem Cell Nutrition. He holds a BS in Neurophysiology from McGill University and a Master of Science in Neurology and Neurosurgery from the Montreal Neurological Institute.

One particular stem cell enhancers that was studied was found to contain a polysaccharide fraction that was shown to stimulate the migration of Natural Killer (NK) cells out of the blood into tissues. The same polysaccharide fraction was also shown to strongly stimulate the activation of NK cells. NK cells play the very important role in the body of identifying aberrant or defective cells and eliminating them. NK cells are especially known for their ability to detect and destroy virally infected cells and cells undergoing uncontrolled cellular division. The same polysaccharide fraction was also shown to stimulate macrophage activity. Macrophages constitute the front line of the immune system. They first detect an infection or the presence of bacteria or virally infected cells, and they then call for a full immune response. Adult Stem Cell Nutritional Enhancer also contains a significant concentration of chlorophyll and phycocyanin, the blue pigment in AFA. Phycocyanin has strong anti-inflammatory properties and therefore can assist the immune system.

The release of stem cells from the bone marrow and their migration to tissues is a natural process that happens everyday. Stem cell enhancers simply support that natural process and tips the balance toward health everyday. It does not do anything that the body does not already do everyday. So far, no instances of cancer or any similar problem have ever been observed when using in vivo natural release of stem cells from the bone marrow.

Each day, stem cells in the bone marrow evolve to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These mature cells are then released into the bloodstream where they perform their vital life-supporting functions. When bone marrow stem cell activity is interfered with, diseases such as anemia (red blood cell deficit), neutropenia (specialized white blood cell deficit), or thrombocytopenia (platelet deficit) are often diagnosed. Any one of these conditions can cause death if not corrected.

Scientists have long known that folic acid, vitamin B12, and iron are required for bone marrow stem cells to differentiate into mature red blood cells.3-7 Vitamin D has been shown to be crucial in the formation of immune cells,8-11 whereas carnosine has demonstrated a remarkable ability to rejuvenate cells approaching senescence and extend cellular life span.12-28

Other studies of foods such as blueberries show this fruit can prevent and even reverse cell functions that decline as a result of normal aging.29-36 Blueberry extract has been shown to increase neurogenesis in the aged rat brain.37,38 Green tea compounds have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumor cells, while possibly providing protection against normal cellular aging.39,40

Based on these findings, scientists are now speculating that certain nutrients could play important roles in maintaining the healthy renewal of replacement stem cells in the brain, blood, and other tissues. It may be possible, according to these scientists, to use certain nutrient combinations in the treatment of conditions that warrant stem cell replacement

These studies demonstrate for the first time that various natural compounds can promote the proliferation of human bone marrow cells and human stem cells. While these studies were done in vitro, they provide evidence that readily available nutrients may confer a protective effect against today’s epidemic of age-related bone marrow degeneration.

Dr. Robert Sampson, MD on stem cell nutrition – “… we have a product that has been shown and demonstrated in the patent to increase the level of adult circulating stem cells by up to 30%. It seems to me we’re having a great opportunity here to optimize the body’s natural ability to create health.” Recent scientific developments have revealed that stem cells derived from the bone marrow, travel throughout the body, and act to support optimal organ and tissue function. Stem cell enhancers supports the natural role of adult stem cells. Stem cell enhancer are typically derived from certain edible algae that grows in fresh water.

The possibility that a decline in the numbers or plasticity of stem cell populations contributes to aging and age-related disease is suggested by recent findings. The remarkable plasticity of stem cells suggests that endogenous or transplanted stem cells can be tweaked’ in ways that will allow them to replace lost or dysfunctional cell populations in diseases ranging from neurodegenerative and hematopoietic disorders to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

As you age, the number and quality of stem cells that circulate in your body gradually decrease, leaving your body more susceptible to injury and other age-related health challenges. Just as antioxidants are important to protect your cells from free radical damage, stem cell nutrition is equally important to support your stem cells in maintaining proper organ and tissue functioning in your body.

A fundamental breakthrough in our understanding of nervous system development was the identification of multipotent neural stem cells (neurospheres) about ten years ago. Dr. Weiss and colleagues showed that EGF (epidermal growth factor) dependent stem cells could be harvested from different brain regions at different developmental stages and that these could be maintained over multiple passages in vitro. This initial finding has lead to an explosion of research on stem cells, their role in normal development and their potential therapeutic uses. Many investigators have entered this field and the progress made has been astounding.

How does an increase in the number of circulating stem cells lead to optimal health? Circulating stem cells can reach various organs and become cells of that organ, helping such organ regain and maintain optimal health. Recent studies have suggested that the number of circulating stem cells is a key factor; the higher the number of circulating stem cells the greater is the ability of the body at healing itself. Scientific interest in adult stem cells has centered on their ability to divide or self-renew indefinitely, and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate, potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. Adult stem cells are already being used clinically to treat many diseases. These include as reparative treatments with various cancers, autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and arthritis, anemias including sickle cells anemia and immunodeficiencies. Adult stem cells are also being used to treat patients by formation of cartilage, growing new corneas to restore sight to blind patients, treatments for stroke, and several groups are using adult stem cells to repair damage after heart attacks. Early clinical trials have shown initial success in patient treatments for Parkinsons disease and spinal cord injury. The first FDA approved trial to treat juvenile diabetes in human patients is ready to begin at Harvard Medical School, using adult stem cells. An advantage of using adult stem cells is that in most cases, the patients own stem cells can be used for the treatment, circumventing the problems of immune rejection, and without tumor formation.

Why do we hear much in the news about embryonic stem cells and very little about adult stem cells? The first human embryonic stem cells were grown in vitro, in a petri dish, in the mid 1990s. Rapidly, scientists were successful at growing them for many generations and to trigger their differentiation into virtually any kind of cells, i.e. brain cells, heart cells, liver cells, bone cells, pancreatic cells, etc. When scientists tried growing adult stem cells, the endeavor was met with less success, as adult stem cells were difficult to grow in vitro for more than a few generations. This led to the idea that embryonic stem cells have more potential than adult stem cells. In addition, the ethical concerns linked to the use of embryonic stem cells have led to a disproportionate representation of embryonic stem cells in the media. But recent developments over the past 2-3 years have established that adult stem cells have capabilities comparable to embryonic stem cells in the human body, not in the test tube. Many studies have indicated that simply releasing stem cells from the bone marrow can help support the body’s natural process for renewal of tissues and organs.

The bone marrow constantly produces stem cells for the entire life of an individual. Stem cells released by the bone marrow are responsible for the constant renewal of red blood cells and lymphocytes (immune cells). A 25-30% increase in the number of circulating stem cells is well within physiological range and does not constitute stress on the bone marrow environment. The amount of active bone marrow amounts to about 2,600 g (5.7 lbs), with about 1.5 trillion marrow cells. Stem cells that do not reach any tissue or become blood cells return to the bone marrow.

Effectiveness of stem cell “enhancers” was demonstrated in a triple-blind study. Volunteers rested for one hour before establishing baseline levels. After the first blood samples, volunteers were given stem cell “enhancers”or placebo. Thereafter, blood samples were taken at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after taking the consumables. The number of circulating stem cells was quantified by analyzing the blood samples using Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS). Consumption of stem cell “enhancers” triggered a significant 25-30% increase in the number of circulating stem cells.

Continue reading here:
stem cells – Shirley’s Wellness Cafe

Arctic drilling, controversial reforms and new views of Saturn – Nature.com

Space | Publishing | Funding | Conservation | Politics | Policy | People | Trend watch | Coming up

Cassini catches new views of Saturn NASAs Cassini spacecraft plunged between Saturn and its rings on 26 April, beginning the final stages of its 20-year mission. At its closest, Cassini whizzed just 300 kilometres from the innermost visible edge of Saturns rings and 3,000kilometres above the top of the planets clouds. The images sent back include this close-up shot of Saturns surface. The spacecraft is exploring this never-before-visited region of the Solar System on its way to a final plunge into Saturns atmosphere in September.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Inst.

Physics for all Particle physicists will soon be able to publish open-access papers in three journals of the American Physical Society (APS), including Physical Review Letters, free of charge. The deal, announced on 27April, was struck between the APS and CERN, the European particle-physics laboratory in Switzerland. From January 2018, high-energy physics research done anywhere in the world will be able to be published open-access in the journals, and at no direct cost. Publication fees will be covered by the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3), an international partnership set up in 2012 that is funded in large part by libraries. CERNs Large Hadron Collider already had an open-access agreement with the APS.

Cash boost BioRxiv, a free online archive for draft versions of biology research papers, is to receive a windfall from the philanthropic Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), founded by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his physician wife Priscilla Chan. On 26April, the initiative announced a multi-year funding package the terms of which have not been disclosed for expanding the popular preprint server, which posted its 10,000th manuscript last month. The new money will pay for staff and technology development at bioRxiv, says John Inglis, the executive director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and co-founder of the 3-year-old site.

Poor protection A cross-party group of UK politicians has rebuked the countrys government over its ocean-protection record. In a report released on 25April, the Environmental Audit Committee says marine protected areas around the coasts of the British Isles are not managed properly and that vulnerable sites and species are not suitably protected. The committee says it is also shocked and disappointed that the government will not be creating reference sites to help gauge the success of the network of protected areas. Only 50marine conservation zones have been created in British waters, whereas 127 were recommended in 2011.

Legal concerns Hungarys revised higher-education law is incompatible with internal market freedoms and the right of academic freedom in the European Union (EU), the European Commission said on 26 April. The contentious law, which was passed by the Hungarian parliament on 4 April, bars international universities from operating in Hungary unless they have a campus in their home country. The commission sent Budapest a letter of formal notice, outlining legal concerns, to which the Hungarian government has one month to respond. Speaking in the European Parliament on 26 April, Hungarys Prime Minister Viktor Orbn rejected accusations that the law would specifically target the Central European University in Budapest.

Eric Vidal/Reuters

Hungarys Prime Minister Viktor Orbn.

UK research reform On 27April, the British parliament approved a controversial package of reforms to the organization of UK research and universities. Nine research-funding agencies, including Britains seven research councils, will now be merged into a new body, called UK Research and Innovation. The organization will oversee annual spending of more than 6billion (US$7.8 billion). Parliaments unelected upper chamber, the House of Lords, had forced the government into a number of compromises in the reform, including safeguards for institutional autonomy and the independence of research funding from political interference.

Stem-cell payout Allegations of fraud at a US stem-cell laboratory have led to an order for Partners HealthCare System and Brigham and Womens Hospital (BWH) of Boston, Massachusetts, to pay US$10million to the government. The settlement, announced by the US Department of Justice on 27April, came in response to charges that the laboratory of former BWH researcher Piero Anversa used manipulated and falsified data about his research involving cardiac stem cells in applications for federal research funds. Anversa and a colleague sued the hospital in 2014, charging that its investigation of the allegations had damaged their careers. That lawsuit was dismissed.

Offshore drilling President Donald Trump has asked the US Department of the Interior to reopen Arctic federal waters for oil and gas drilling. On 28April, Trump signed an executive order to lift restrictions on offshore mineral exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. The controls had been imposed by Barack Obamas administration in response to environmental concerns. The order also asks for a review of the five-year plan to sell oil and gas leases in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean areas that the previous administration had closed to offshore exploration and development.

Fishy results Swedens Central Ethical Review Board has ruled that two researchers at Uppsala University have been guilty of scientific dishonesty in relation to a study published last year in Science (O. M. Lnnstedt and P. Eklv Science 352, 12131216; 2016). The board says that the paper by Oona Lnnstedt and Peter Eklv on the claimed harmful impact of microplastics on certain fish larvae should be withdrawn. Uppsala University says it will consider this report alongside an earlier report conducted by the university itself, which found no misconduct.

Leadership row Cell biologist Mary Beckerle has been invited to return to her position as head of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, housed at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City but mainly funded by billionaire Jon Huntsman. Last month, Vivian Lee, dean of the universitys school of medicine and senior vice-president for health sciences, fired Beckerle for undisclosed reasons. In response, institute staff raised protests and Huntsman threatened to revoke a planned donation. Following Beckerles reinstatement on 25 April, Huntsman released a statement pledging US$120million to the institute. On 28 April, Vivian Lee resigned from her leadership positions.

Preventive arrest Stem-cell maverick Davide Vannoni was arrested in Turin, Italy, on 26April after police phone taps indicated that he was seeking new foreign locations to continue his outlawed therapy, according to news reports. Vannoni had been sentenced to jail for conspiracy and fraud for administering unproven stem-cell therapy in Italy to people with incurable diseases through his Stamina Foundation. The sentence was suspended in March last year in a plea bargainon the condition that he cease offering the treatment. Vannoni continued treating people in the Republic of Georgia until the government there banned him in December.

Physicist fired Physicist Etienne Klein has been sacked as president of the Institute for Advanced Studies for Science and Technology (IHEST) in Paris following a series of allegations of plagiarism in his articles and books for the general public. Kleins dismissal was announced in the French governments official journal on 28April. He is replaced by Antoine Petit, head of INRIA, Frances national computer-science agency.

The Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet. A report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme finds that the region was warmer between 2011 and 2014 than at any time since records began around 1900. The rapid warming is hastening the melting of glaciers and sea ice, and boosting sea-level rise. The extent of snow cover across the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia each June has halved compared with observations before 2000, the report finds.

Source: Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic

818 May Details of the Paris climate agreement are negotiated at a United Nations climate-change conference in Bonn, Germany.

89 May Scientists discuss trends in genome editing at a CRISPR congress in London.

913 May The annual Biology of Genomes meeting takes place in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

Read more from the original source:
Arctic drilling, controversial reforms and new views of Saturn – Nature.com

US Stem Cell Inc (OTCMKTS:USRM) Receives Institutional Fund … – StockNewsUnion


StockNewsUnion
US Stem Cell Inc (OTCMKTS:USRM) Receives Institutional Fund …
StockNewsUnion
US Stem Cell Inc (OTCMKTS:USRM) is a biotechnology company that was formerly known as Bioheart, Inc. US Stem Cell, headquartered in Sunrise, FL, seeks …

and more »

View original post here:
US Stem Cell Inc (OTCMKTS:USRM) Receives Institutional Fund … – StockNewsUnion

VistaGen Therapeutics’ Largest Stockholder Signs 6-Month Lock-Up Agreement – Yahoo Finance

VistaGen Therapeutics' Largest Stockholder Signs 6-Month Lock-Up Agreement
Yahoo Finance
VistaStem Therapeutics is VistaGen's wholly owned subsidiary focused on applying human pluripotent stem cell technology, internally and with collaborators, to discover, rescue, develop and commercialize proprietary new chemical entities (NCEs

and more »

Read the rest here:
VistaGen Therapeutics’ Largest Stockholder Signs 6-Month Lock-Up Agreement – Yahoo Finance

VistaGen Therapeutics’ Largest Stockholder Signs 6-Month Lock-Up Agreement – Marketwired (press release)

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – May 01, 2017) – VistaGen Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTGN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation medicines for depression and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced today that its largest institutional stockholder, holding both common stock and substantially all (99.3%) of the Company’s outstanding preferred stock, entered into a 6-month lock-up agreement. Under the agreement, the stockholder and its affiliates agreed to not enter into any transaction involving the Company’s securities during the term of the agreement, which runs through late-October 2017 and covers approximately 36% of the Company’s issued and outstanding equity securities on an as converted basis.

About VistaGen

VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTGN), is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation medicines for depression and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders. VistaGen’s lead CNS product candidate, AV-101, is in Phase 2 development as a new generation oral antidepressant drug candidate for major depressive disorder (MDD). AV-101’s mechanism of action is fundamentally differentiated from all FDA-approved antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics used adjunctively to treat MDD, with potential to drive a paradigm shift towards a new generation of safer and faster-acting antidepressants. AV-101 is currently being evaluated by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in a Phase 2 monotherapy study in MDD being fully funded by the NIMH and conducted by Dr. Carlos Zarate Jr., Chief, Section on the Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood Disorders and Chief of Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch at the NIMH. VistaGen is preparing to launch a 180-patient Phase 2 study of AV-101 as an adjunctive treatment for MDD patients with inadequate response to standard, FDA-approved antidepressants. Dr. Maurizio Fava of Harvard University will be the Principal Investigator of the Company’s Phase 2 adjunctive treatment study. AV-101 may also have the potential to treat multiple CNS disorders and neurodegenerative diseases in addition to MDD, including chronic neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, where modulation of the NMDAR, AMPA pathway and/or key active metabolites of AV-101 may achieve therapeutic benefit.

VistaStem Therapeutics is VistaGen’s wholly owned subsidiary focused on applying human pluripotent stem cell technology, internally and with collaborators, to discover, rescue, develop and commercialize proprietary new chemical entities (NCEs), including small molecule NCEs with regenerative potential, for CNS and other diseases, and cellular therapies involving stem cell-derived blood, cartilage, heart and liver cells. In December 2016, VistaGen exclusively sublicensed to BlueRock Therapeutics LP, a next generation regenerative medicine company established by Bayer AG and Versant Ventures, rights to certain proprietary technologies relating to the production of cardiac stem cells for the treatment of heart disease.

For more information, please visit http://www.vistagen.com and connect with VistaGen on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Forward-Looking Statements

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements that are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to the successful launch, continuation and results of the NIMH’s Phase 2 (monotherapy) and/or the Company’s planned Phase 2 (adjunctive therapy) clinical studies of AV-101 in MDD, and other CNS diseases and disorders, protection of its intellectual property, and the availability of substantial additional capital to support its operations, including the Phase 2 clinical development activities described above. These and other risks and uncertainties are identified and described in more detail in VistaGen’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings are available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. VistaGen undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.

Read more:
VistaGen Therapeutics’ Largest Stockholder Signs 6-Month Lock-Up Agreement – Marketwired (press release)

Irish researchers ‘cut risk of heart failure with one injection’ – Irish Times

Sat, Apr 29, 2017, 01:00 Updated: Sat, Apr 29, 2017, 10:12

Irish cardiologists have found a way to repair damaged cardiac muscle and reduce the risk of future heart failure by injecting a growth promoter into the hearts of heart attack sufferers. Photograph: Getty Images

A team of Irish cardiologists have shown that injecting an insulin-like growth promoter into the hearts of patients who have suffered a severe heart attack can repair damaged cardiac muscle and reduce the risk of future heart failure.

Prof Noel Caplice, Chair of Cardiovascular Sciences at University College Cork, and his cardiologist colleagues at Cork University Hospital successfully tested the growth factor in a clinical trial involving 47 patients who presented at the Cork hospital after experiencing heart attacks.

Prof Caplice said 20 per cent of people who suffer heart attacks have severe ongoing difficulties because of lasting damage to heart muscle even after the best current therapies.

After you have a heart attack, regardless whether you treat it with a stent or whatever, about 20 per cent of patients go on to have poor remodelling heart muscle cells die, you get scar tissue forming and the heart tends to expand and dilates, a bit like a balloon, and you get thinned-out heart muscle.

With that poor remodelling of the heart, the heart as a structure performs much worse, it doesnt work very well in terms of its function that leads to a substantial number of those patients going on to suffer heart failure with an increased risk of death, he said.

However, 10 years ago, Prof Caplice and his team began looking at using stem cells as a means of repairing damaged tissue and they found a protein within the stem cells, IGF 1, previously used to treat congenital dwarfism and growth problems, was leading to the repair of damaged heart muscle.

IGF 1 acts differently to insulin in that it acts on a different receptor in the body and when we inject it, it gets into the heart tissue and it basically stimulates receptors on the surface of the cardiac cells and in about 30 minutes, it sends a survival signal to the heart muscles cells, he said.

What we discovered from the stem cell study was that the concentration of the factor was extremely low so what we did was that we took the purified factor and in studies with pigs we injected them in the context of a heart attack and we found these major remodelling benefits.

Those animal tests were funded by Science Foundation Ireland but four years ago the Health Research Board came on board and the two bodies provided a 1 million grant to allow the treatment be trialled on humans.

Working with a 25-strong team incorporating cardiologists, radiologists, MRI specialists and nurses, Prof Caplice was able to incorporate the IGF 1 trials into the treatment of patients attending CUH with severe cardiac events and over the past three years have trialled it on 47 patients.

Patients received two different low-dose preparations of insulin-like growth factor or placebo in a randomised double-blinded clinical trial, with results showing those who received the higher dose had improved remodelling of their heart muscle in the two-month follow-up after their heart attack.

Prof Caplice said the CUH trials, the results of which he will present at a European Society of Cardiology conference in Paris on Saturday, were the first use of IGF 1 in human hearts and part of its attractiveness was its low dosage ensuring minimal side effects while improving cardiac structure.

Among the beneficiaries was John Nolan from New Ross who suffered a heart attack in December 2014. I feel I was blessed to be asked to be involved; I had confidence that good would come from it, in terms of how they explained it to me. Looking back on it now, I feel it was the right choice.

For Prof Caplice, the challenge now is to expand the trials to several hundred patients possibly across different countries and different healthcare systems to see if the IGF 1 treatment is globally applicable which, if proven to be the case, could lead to regulatory approval within five years.

Read the original post:
Irish researchers ‘cut risk of heart failure with one injection’ – Irish Times

Irish cardiologists pioneer new treatment for heart patients – Irish Times

Irish cardiologists have found a way to repair damaged cardiac muscle and reduce the risk of future heart failure by injecting a growth promoter into the hearts of heart attack sufferers. Photograph: Getty Images

A team of Irish cardiologists have shown that injecting an insulin-like growth promoter into the hearts of patients who have suffered a severe heart attack can repair damaged cardiac muscle and reduce the risk of future heart failure.

Prof Noel Caplice, Chair of Cardiovascular Sciences at University College Cork, and his cardiologist colleagues at Cork University Hospital successfully tested the growth factor in a clinical trial involving 47 patients who presented at the Cork hospital after experiencing heart attacks.

Prof Caplice said 20 per cent of people who suffer heart attacks have severe ongoing difficulties because of lasting damage to heart muscle even after the best current therapies.

After you have a heart attack, regardless whether you treat it with a stent or whatever, about 20 per cent of patients go on to have poor remodelling heart muscle cells die, you get scar tissue forming and the heart tends to expand and dilates, a bit like a balloon, and you get thinned-out heart muscle.

With that poor remodelling of the heart, the heart as a structure performs much worse, it doesnt work very well in terms of its function that leads to a substantial number of those patients going on to suffer heart failure with an increased risk of death, he said.

However, 10 years ago, Prof Caplice and his team began looking at using stem cells as a means of repairing damaged tissue and they found a protein within the stem cells, IGF 1, previously used to treat congenital dwarfism and growth problems, was leading to the repair of damaged heart muscle.

IGF 1 acts differently to insulin in that it acts on a different receptor in the body and when we inject it, it gets into the heart tissue and it basically stimulates receptors on the surface of the cardiac cells and in about 30 minutes, it sends a survival signal to the heart muscles cells, he said.

What we discovered from the stem cell study was that the concentration of the factor was extremely low so what we did was that we took the purified factor and in studies with pigs we injected them in the context of a heart attack and we found these major remodelling benefits.

Those animal tests were funded by Science Foundation Ireland but four years ago the Health Research Board came on board and the two bodies provided a 1 million grant to allow the treatment be trialled on humans.

Working with a 25-strong team incorporating cardiologists, radiologists, MRI specialists and nurses, Prof Caplice was able to incorporate the IGF 1 trials into the treatment of patients attending CUH with severe cardiac events and over the past three years have trialled it on 47 patients.

Patients received two different low-dose preparations of insulin-like growth factor or placebo in a randomised double-blinded clinical trial, with results showing those who received the higher dose had improved remodelling of their heart muscle in the two-month follow-up after their heart attack.

Prof Caplice said the CUH trials, the results of which he will present at a European Society of Cardiology conference in Paris on Saturday, were the first use of IGF 1 in human hearts and part of its attractiveness was its low dosage ensuring minimal side effects while improving cardiac structure.

Among the beneficiaries was John Nolan from New Ross who suffered a heart attack in December 2014. I feel I was blessed to be asked to be involved; I had confidence that good would come from it, in terms of how they explained it to me. Looking back on it now, I feel it was the right choice.

For Prof Caplice, the challenge now is to expand the trials to several hundred patients possibly across different countries and different healthcare systems to see if the IGF 1 treatment is globally applicable which, if proven to be the case, could lead to regulatory approval within five years.

Read more:
Irish cardiologists pioneer new treatment for heart patients – Irish Times

Archives