12 Mar UW tests adult stem cell role in regenerative heart care
Madison, Wis. – Can a heart patient’s own stem cells be used to repair heart damage?
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health intends to find out as part of a clinical trial now underway at UW Hospital and Clinics.
The school is among the first medical centers in the country taking part in the clinical trial, which will investigate whether a person’s own stem cells can treat areas of the heart with poor blood flow.
The trial, which is enrolling subjects, is the first human Phase II adult stem cell therapy study in the United States. Its goal is to investigate the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of blood-derived stem cells for the treatment of chronic myocardial ischemia (CMI), a severe form of coronary artery disease.
Myocardial ischemia, which affects hundreds of thousands of people, involves the narrowing of coronary arteries and results in limited blood flow to the heart.
Dr. Amish Raval, head of cardiovascular regenerative medicine at UW Health, said the process is a form of regenerative medicine, which treats diseases by using growth factors, genes, or stem cells to promote blood vessel or tissue growth.
The goal of this approach, he said, is to promote either angiogenesis, which is the growth of new capillaries; arteriogenesis, which is the maturation and enlargement of existing arteries and arterioles; or vasculogenesis, the sprouting of new arteries and arterioles.
The first patient underwent the procedure March 7, but because the study is random and “double-blinded,” neither the patient nor the research physician knows if he received his own stem cells or a placebo substance.
UW Hospital and Clinics is one of 15 to 20 research sites nationwide participating in the study, which is sponsored by the Cellular Therapies business unit of Baxter Healthcare Corp.
• Researcher wants to commercialize adult stem cell discovery
• Medical College team seeks stem cell patent
• Human stem cells called great opportunity for drug discovery