Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Heart Transplant 'Not an Option' Following Stem Cell Treatment

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

TheraVitae, yesterday, issued the following press release on the progress shown by Marie Carty, a patient who prior to reveiving stem cell therapy last year was on the transplant list. Nowadays, a heart transplant simply isn't an option for Ms Carty.


“Stem cells changed my life” -- Heart patient says transplant 'not an option' after her condition dramatically improved following stem cell therapy.

Little Silver, NJ (PRWEB) March 21, 2006 -- New Jersey native, Marie Carty, knew she needed a new heart. Heart disease had robbed her of any chance of ever leading a normal life again and her cardiologist had no option other than to recommend evaluation for a heart transplant. However, Ms. Carty refused to accept the status quo and instead turned to the Internet for help. Several months later she flew half way around the world in order to receive VesCell™, a pioneering adult stem cell treatment, at Bangkok Heart Hospital.

Before receiving treatment in Thailand, Dr. Mark Zucker, Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, New Jersey, had recommended that Ms. Carty undergo evaluation for a heart transplant. “Can’t do this,” she replied.

Ms. Carty’s health had been failing badly in the run-up to receiving the experimental treatment. Her morning walks along the New Jersey shore had long been replaced with entire days spent lying listless in front of the television.

While many patients may feel wary of traveling abroad to receive any medical care, let alone one involving such an advanced treatment as adult stem cell therapy, Ms. Carty simply says, “I literally had no option other than to pray I would receive a transplant in time. I became determined to find an alternative. Then I found TheraVitae, the Israeli-Thai biotech company who developed VesCell, on the Internet. Their treatment required minimally invasive surgery and, as you’re treated using cells from your own blood, there seemed to be no chance of complications due to rejection. To be honest, at this stage in my life, I realized I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Just a few months after her treatment, Ms. Carty recollects, “I knew I felt great, the change was like night and day. I had more energy, more stamina and even resumed my occasional two mile walks; something I hadn’t done for a long time. But to hear my own doctor say, "Do you realize that your heart is beating three times -- pumping three times--the amount of blood than before?” was nothing short of amazing. All I ever hoped for was to be able to lead a normal life again and that’s what I’m doing now.”

Ms. Carty, whose story was recently featured on the Christian Broadcast Network television show, The 700 Club, joins legendary Hawaiian crooner Don Ho and a growing number of patients worldwide who have reported life-changing results after undergoing VesCell therapy in Thailand.

Ms. Carty’s treatment involved her giving a half-pint of blood (similar to a common blood donation), from which her adult stem cells were harvested and then differentiated and expanded in-vitro at TheraVitae’s laboratories in Israel. The resulting cells were then implanted directly into her heart by cardiac surgeons at Bangkok Heart Hospital. The total cost for her two-week stay in Bangkok including the life-altering procedure was around US$35,000; a fraction of a heart transplant’s whopping US$150,000+ price tag.

VesCell therapy has to yet receive the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; so for now, ‘no-option’ heart patients will have to continue traveling to Thailand in order to receive this potentially lifesaving treatment. Other medical teams around the world also report promising results in the treatment of chronic heart disease using adult stem cells. However, these treatments, unlike TheraVitae’s simpler, less painful method, use stem cells derived from bone marrow, rather than blood.

On hearing the news of Ms. Carty’s dramatic improvement in heart function, Don Margolis, Co-Founder of TheraVitae, commented, “Nothing amazes me any more. Marie’s story is only one of the many successes that we have seen in patients treated using VesCell therapy. Our patients want their voices to be heard and want other people to have the opportunity to undergo the same life enhancing treatment that they received. Their message is loud and clear ‘Today, TheraVitae can offer affordable, safe and effective treatment for ‘no-option’ heart disease patients.’”


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