Fat around the waist is commonly seen as a contributing factor to heart attack. Ironically, a company is now testing whether adult stem cells from fat could help prevent long-term damage after a heart attack.
A new medical team is now investigating whether adult stem cells harvested from a person’s own fat, delivered shortly after a heart attack, could prevent some of the cardiac muscle damage that results from blocked arteries.
During a heart attack, blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart muscle are blocked. The lack of oxygen slowly kills the tissue. San Diego-based Cytori Therapeutics has developed a treatment that aims to prevent much of that muscle damage before it starts.
The procedure involves injecting concentrated slurry of adult stem cells and other regenerative cells isolated from the patient’s body directly into the heart’s main artery within 24 hours after an attack.
“Time is muscle. The quicker you get in, the better,” Christopher Calhoun, Cytori’s chief executive officer says. “You can’t do anything about dead tissue, but tissue that’s bruised and damaged-that’s revitalizable. If you can get new blood flow in there, that tissue comes back to life.”
Adult stem cells, which exist in small populations throughout the body, can differentiate to form specific tissue types and are responsible for repairing injuries and replacing dying cells. The prospect of using them to heal damaged heart muscle has intrigued biomedical researchers for more than 20 years.
If the stem cells come from an adult patient’s own body, there is no risk of rejection. A number of clinical trials in recent years have focused on using stem cells collected from bone marrow, since this potent population can differentiate into both cardiac muscle cells and blood vessel cells, among other types.
Researchers have discovered that fat tissue has its own population of stem cells that are more easily accessible and far more abundant than the ones in bone marrow. A typical sample of bone marrow yields about 5,000 stem cells; a sample of fat, gathered quickly through liposuction, can provide up to 200 times that amount.
Fat also contains other cells that may aid the healing process. “My belief is that you need that mixed population of cells in order for this therapy to be effective,” Stuart Williams, director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute in Louisville says. “Everybody who is now seeing success with the use of these cells — almost all of them — is using a mixed population.”
Adipose-Derived Regenerative Cell (ADRC) Therapy Associated With Reduction in Arrhythmia in Acute Heart Attack Patients; Post-Hoc Data From Cytori’s APOLLO Study Reported at the 6th International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease
SAN DIEGO, CA — (MARKET WIRE) — 01/20/11 — Cytori Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CYTX) announced this afternoon the presentation of data demonstrating a statistically significant reduction in ventricular tachyarrhythmias following adipose-derived regenerative cell (ADRC) therapy in patients with acute heart attack. The findings were presented at the 6th International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease by co-Principal Investigator on the APOLLO study, Henricus J. Duckers, M.D., Ph.D., Interventional Cardiologist, Head of Molecular Cardiology, Thoraxcentre, Erasmus University Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
In Dr. Duckers’ presentation, ADRC therapy was associated with a significantly lower incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias. A total of three episodes of ventricular tachyarrhythmia were reported in the treated group as compared to 10 in the control group (p=0.018). On a per patient basis, the treated group experienced a mean of 0.3 episodes of ventricular tachyarrhythmias as compared to 2.5 in the control group (p=0.048). The analysis of Holter recordings also indicated lower incidence of premature ventricular contractions (PVC, a single abnormal beat) in patients treated with ADRCs. In ADRC-treated patients, 5 PVCs per patient, per day, were reported whereas in placebo-treated patients, the number of PVCs reported per patient, per day, was 72 (p=0.014).
Forty-eight hour Holter recordings were obtained weekly for the first month after discharge followed by 24-hour recordings at 2, 3, 4 and 6 months post-procedure. All Holter recordings were assessed by an independent, blinded Holter core laboratory. Post-hoc data analyses of Holter data were conducted independently by Thoraxcentre.
“Although not the primary study endpoint, the observed reduction in arrhythmias supports the safety of ADRCs in the treatment of patients with an acute heart attack,” said Dr. Duckers. “Furthermore, the data presented are consistent with previously reported results from Cytori’s preclinical studies.”
Six month primary outcomes were reported from the APOLLO study in May 2010 at the 7th International Symposium on Stem Cell Therapy & Cardiovascular Innovation in Madrid, Spain.
Cytori is a leader in providing patients and physicians around the world with medical technologies that harness the potential of adult regenerative cells from adipose tissue. The Celution® System family of medical devices and instruments are being sold into the European and Asian cosmetic, reconstructive surgery and wound markets. The Celution® System is not yet available in the United States. Our StemSource® product line is sold globally for cell banking and research applications. www.cytori.com
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements regarding events, trends, business prospects and particularly the APOLLO clinical study results, which may affect our future operating results and financial position. Such statements, including, but not limited to, those regarding improvements in patient outcomes, and other benefits that may to be attributable to the treatments discussed above, are all subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the results of a more comprehensive clinical study to differ materially from those presented above. Some of these risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks related to the statistical power of the APOLLO study, the need for further clinical studies to confirm the above referenced outcomes, inherent risk and uncertainty in the costs and potential variability of outcomes of a pivotal heart attack study, regulatory uncertainties regarding the collection and results of clinical data, and dependence on third party performance, as well as other risks and uncertainties described under the “Risk Factors” in Cytori’s Securities and Exchange Commission Filings on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. We assume no responsibility to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events, trends or circumstances after the date they are made.
from http://www.catholic.org/health/story.php?id=40141 , http://ir.cytoritx.com/InvestorRelations/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=544906