One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 suffers from something called, peripheral arterial disease or PAD. It can result in clogged arteries in your legs, which can cause a heart attack, if left untreated. But now there’s a new approach. Doctors using a patient’s own stem cells to clear things up. (…)
The arteries in her leg are clogged with plaque which puts her at risk for heart attack, stroke and amputation. Traditionally, doctors treat PAD with stents, angioplasties or bypasses. But now, they’re using a patient’s own stem cells to try and save her legs.
Concha Herrera Arroyo, from El Pais
The Cardiology department and the Area of Cell Therapy of Cordoba hospital Reina Sofia are carrying out clinical tests with patients who have suffered from a severe heart attack. With the implantation of the patient’s stem cells, the heart regenerates thus improving its wall motion, that is, its cardiac performance.
Indeed for the last four years, the Area of Cell Therapy of Cordoba hospital, led by haematologist Dr. Concha Herrera, has been implementing a therapy program with adult stem cells in patients with heart-related problems. However, this therapy is not a service the hospital
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A woman received a transplant of her own bone marrow stem cells, was able to avoid an amputation, and has started to walk again following an operation performed at Catholic University in Campobasso. This is one of the few such operations performed in Europe on the cardiovascular system using adult stem cells. The results were announced yesterday, about a month after the operation, and it is now clear that it will not be necessary to amputate the woman’s leg. “We can say that the operation was a complete success surgically,” said doctors that worked
About five years ago, Professor Janet Sawicki at the Lankenau Institute in Pennsylvania read an article about nanoparticles developed by MIT’s Daniel Anderson and Robert Langer for gene therapy, the insertion of genes into living cells for the treatment of disease. Sawicki was working on treating ovarian cancer by delivering — through viruses — the gene for the diphtheria toxin, which kills tumor cells (…)
MIT engineers have boosted stem cells’ ability to regenerate vascular tissue (such as blood vessels) by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). In a study in mice, the researchers found that the stem cells successfully generated blood vessels near the site of an injury, allowing damaged tissue to survive.
Why it matters: Stem cells hold great potential as a way to promote tissue regeneration. However, this approach has been limited because stem cells don’t produce enough growth factors after transplantation. The researchers’ new super-charged stem cells could be used to