Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Disease - Effective Treatments are Available

Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

In response to the recent negative headlines regarding stem cell therapies for heart disease patients, TheraVitae yesterday issued the following press release in order to clarify the situation and set patients' minds at ease.

Heart disease patients should not be discouraged by a recent report titled “Stem Cell Treatment for Heart Attack Ineffective" published recently by leading news sources, describing an unsuccessful clinical trial for the treatment of heart disease.

March 7, 2006 -- In this report, German researchers concluded that a specific therapy with a growth factor called ‘granulocyte colony-stimulating factor’ (GCSF) bringing the body's bone marrow stem cells into the circulation, did not appear to be effective. It is important to stress that the doctors did not use stem cells, but a well-known molecule used in cancer patients to recruit stem cells from the bone marrow. Contrary to the accurate title originally presented by the publishing scientific journal ("Stem Cell Mobilization by Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction"), it was erroneously described by public media, incorrectly directing the focus towards stem cell treatment.

Some experts believe that the G-CSF method might not have been effective because it failed to deliver the right cells to the right place - the key to any effective treatment.

When asked his opinion on the G-CSF results, Dr. Amit N. Patel, Director of Cardiac Stem Cell Therapies at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) replied, “Cell therapy is still in its infancy. No one knows why adult stem cells work. At this early stage, mobilizing cells systemically and hoping they’ll know where to go and what to do is simply unrealistic. The most effective way to treat patients is by administering the cells directly into the organ.”

A key aspect of VesCell™ therapy, developed by TheraVitae to treat patients suffering from end-stage heart disease, is the advanced cell isolation and expansion technique that allows for the effective use of specific stem cells harvested from blood. These resulting cells are then directly administered to the specific target areas in the heart.

Dr. Yael Porat, Vice President for R&D at TheraVitae, said: "A substantial difference exists between the treatment of heart disease using a molecule administered systemically and cell therapy. Compared to the massive amount of diverse cells that are nonspecifically mobilized from the bone marrow using G-CSF, VesCell™ consists of a purer, well-characterized and controlled progenitor cell population which has been purposely cultured to exert a beneficial effect in the heart. Furthermore, the cells are specifically “educated” to induce a healing process within the diseased areas of the heart into which they are directly injected. It is the interaction between the injected cells and the patient’s own body, among other factors, that probably lead to their beneficial effect. It is extremely important to clarify these points so that patients retain hope of improving their condition.

"Nearly 100 patients have so far been successfully treated using VesCell™. The latest success story for TheraVitae was the treatment of Ohio lawyer, Harry DePeitro, whose cardiac MRI scans showed an increase in pumping ability of almost 20% after receiving VesCell™ therapy. Others include Dee Coats, the first Californian to receive VesCell™ therapy; Jeanine Lewis, a patient suffering from Class III-IV heart failure whose doctors reclassified her as a Class I patient only 3 months after she received VesCell treatment and Marie Carty, a New Jersey woman whose successful treatment was recently reported on by several leading news agencies.”

“Unsubstantiated headlines may grab readers’ attention but they do little to further understanding of the highly complex world of adult stem cell therapy.” That’s the opinion of Mr. Don Margolis, Founder of TheraVitae. “TheraVitae will continue to focus on providing its adult stem cell therapy to patients with no other therapeutic option. The increasing experience obtained from the treatment of more and more patients enhances our confidence in the positive outcome of Vescell™ and its benefit to patients with end stage heart disease.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the treatment; have all the patients survived? Have all patients gotten better to a degree that they are living normal or close to normal lives?

What about Type I diabetes??

10:08 AM  

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