09 January 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Clinical trial looks at use of stem cells to treat heart condition
Clinical trial conducted at University of Cincinnati uses stem cells to treat heart condition
Singapore: A clinical trial at the University of Cincinnati is looking at how a patient's own stem cells may treat angina. Using the facilities and expertise at Hoxworth Blood Center, stem cells or "undifferentiated" cells that haven't yet evolved into any specific tissue from the study participant's body will be harvested; those enrolled into the active arm of the study will have their stem cells injected into their heart muscle to examine the safety and efficacy of this as a potential future treatment.
One-fourth of those enrolled into the study will be randomly selected to the standard of care arm and will continue to receive high-quality cardiac care but will not undergo the stem cell injection procedure.
"We're trying to determine if the stem cells will help to form new vessel networks, delivering blood flow to the heart and alleviating the symptoms of angina," says Dr Neal Weintraub, Mabel Stearns Stonehill chair of cardiology, professor in the division of cardiovascular diseases and principal investigator on this study.
Angina is chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. In the study, participants will undergo two exercise tolerance tests and self-report angina episodes for a 28-day screening period. Researchers are looking for male or female patients aged 21 to 80 who have been diagnosed with angina and have not been helped with conventional therapeutic options.
Those who meet the criteria to participate in the study will receive an injection into their heart muscle of either their own stem cells or placebo-an inactive fluid that does not contain stem cells.