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11 Dec 2017 275 Comments

Singapore based clinical trial mends weak hearts with stem cells

A new therapy initiated by the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) claims that stem cells are the lifeline of heart patients. In association with French biotechnological firm-CellProthera, NHCS formulated a new study that would regenerate the damaged cells of the heart, through an infusion of stem cells. These stem cells since they hold the capability to differentiate into various cell types they were expected to function as heart cells.

This study was chaired by Senior Consultant Professor Philip Wong from the department of cardiology. He said that this treatment protocol would definitely help 1

in 3 patients, who may need regenerative therapy. A weak heart can potentially reduce the lifespan of the patients if left untreated.

Generally, when a patient suffers from a heart attack the procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention is done. An inflated balloon is used to widen the blocked artery and increase the blood flow to the heart muscle. This procedure is less invasive and enhances the heart function of the patient.

Through the years, heart-related diseases have affected masses around the globe and the reason for heart problems is still unclear. Some medicos say it is due to ethnic influence, age, smoking, obesity etc are the main contributing factors for these conditions, but no one is certain about its etiology.

In the next year, nearly 10 patients are expected to be recruited for this trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of stem cells. In the study, 15 ml of graft will be harvested from the blood drawn from these patients and the extracted graft of stem cells are said to be injected into the infarcted area of the heart. This is expected to be done as a day-care procedure and the patient will not be hospitalised after the procedure. The improvement is expected to be seen only 6 months after the procedure.

The research faculty forecast that the cells will multiply and replace the affected tissue. Using of patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells is said to enhance the success rate of the procedure since it is tailor-made for each individual. The cost of the procedure is not substantiated accurately by the faculty, but they certainly believe that this would reduce further loss of money in the future as hospital expenditure.

Similar trials are done in several developed countries across the world, currently to check the regenerative property of stem cells. Earlier 11 heart attack patients in Greece who were injected with stem cells saw 40 % reduction in scar tissue in a similar study.

Another study published last year, for patients with the high mortality rate as 70% also survived for 3 years after they underwent the procedure. Likewise, many other clinical trials are done across the globe using mesenchymal stem cells for heart-related conditions. When such promising results are declared after evaluation of the utility of umbilical cord of stem cells, it is a wise decision for every expectant parent to preserve their baby’s cord tissue stem cells for future use. To know more about stem cell preservation at India’s first & largest stem cell bank:






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