No Waiting for the Stem Cell Research Debate To Finish

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Managing the Complications of Cirrhosis: A Practical Approach

While the debate on stem cell research rages on, Donald Cecil couldn’t afford to wait for research. Donald badly needed treatment for his heart which was damaged by a series of heart attacks. Luckily, he found a stem cell treatment, Vescell in Thailand by using his own Adult Stem Cells to heal his ailing heart disease.

Heart Attacks Damaged His Heart Muscle

In 2006, Donald had difficulty walking as multiple heart attacks had damaged his heart so his ejection fraction was only at 15%. Doctors didn’t have much hope for Don to repair his heart disease. However, one doctor did mention a stem cell research and therapy in Thailand which uses the patient’s own stem cells to fix the heart muscle.

Adult Stem Cell Treatment Company for Heart Disease

Don got on the internet and he found that company Theravitae, who use the Vescell adult stem cell process in Thailand and contacted them in hopes to repair his heart muscle. Don sent in his medical records and the doctors in Thailand said yes, the stem cell therapy could possibly help him.

The Adult Stem Cells did help him. In 2006, Don went to Thailand for the heart disease stem cell treatment using his own stem cells.

From Don’s stem cell website:

His Doctors Back Home We’re Shocked

After the stem cell heart treatment, his doctors literally watched his heart regenerate from 15% blood ejection, to a normal working condition for someone his age! Some even admitted they have never seen anything like that before.

Don’s story is wonderful in that it shows that stem cell therapy can indeed give people hope TODAY!  Don didn’t want  to wait for a bunch of scientists doing stem cell research in some lab in the middle of nowhere to isolate some cells in rats to change them into this and that.   Adult Stem Cells are helping people now!

original post by Don Margolis

7 thoughts on “No Waiting for the Stem Cell Research Debate To Finish”

  1. I have an ejection fraction of 40% have a coronary stent have had open heart surgery vein ablation and an aortic anuerysm stent and the only option my cardiologist considers is a blood thinner and eventually a pace maker?

    1. STEM CELL THERAPY POSSIBLY HELPFUL IN HEART FAILURE PATIENTS

      A new study found that using a patient’s own bone marrow cells may help repair damaged areas of the heart caused by heart failure, according to research presented today at the American College of Cardiology’s 61st Annual Scientific Session. The Scientific Session, the premier cardiovascular medical meeting, brings cardiovascular professionals together to further advances in the field (…)

      This is the largest study to date to look at stem cell therapy, using a patient’s own stem cells, to repair damaged areas of the heart in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease and left ventricular dysfunction. Researchers found that left ventricular ejection fraction (the percentage of blood leaving the heart’s main pumping chamber) increased by a small but significant amount (2.7 percent) in patients who received stem cell therapy. The study also revealed that the improvement in ejection fraction correlated with the number of CD34+ and CD133+ cells in the bone marrow – information that will be helpful in evaluating and designing future therapies and trials.

      “This is the kind of information we need in order to move forward with the clinical use of stem cell therapy,” said Emerson Perin, MD, PhD, director of clinical research for cardiovascular medicine at the Texas Heart Institute and the study’s lead investigator.

      This multi-center study was conducted by the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network and took place between April 2009 and 2011. At five sites, 92 patients were randomly selected to receive stem cell treatment or placebo. The patients, average age 63, all had chronic ischemic heart disease and an ejection fraction of less than 45 percent along with heart failure and/or angina, and were no longer candidates for revascularization (…)

      Bone marrow was aspirated from the patients and processed to obtain just the mononuclear fraction of the marrow. In patients randomly selected to receive stem cell therapy, doctors inserted a catheter into the heart’s left ventricle to inject a total of 3 ccs comprising 100 million stem cells into an average of 15 sites that showed damage on the electromechanical mapping image of the heart. Dr. Perin said the procedure is relatively quick and painless, involving only an overnight stay at the hospital. The study used electromechanical mapping of the heart to measure the voltage in areas of the heart muscle and create a real-time image of the heart (…)

      The study was designed to determine whether left ventricular end systolic volume and MVO2 changed in patients who received stem cell treatment. Researchers also wanted to see if nuclear scans of the heart showed a reversible change in perfusion defects in patients who had received the treatment. Dr. Perin said the original study endpoints showed no significant differences at baseline and six months later.

      Patients’ bone marrow cells were also sent to a biorepository, where studies were done to examine the phenotypes and functional characteristics of the bone marrow cells. Younger patients had a higher content of CD34+ and CD133+ cells in their bone marrow and had higher ejection fractions after stem cell treatment. Dr. Perin said these types of analyses are essential for autologous therapy because they will help identify which patients will most likely benefit from cell therapy. This information is also important in guiding the design of future trials (…)

      read more:cardiosource.org/News-Media/Media-Center/News-Releases/2012/03/FOCUS.aspx

    2. Researchers Identify How Heart Stem Cells Help Regenerate Healthy Tissue After Heart Attack

      Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute whose previous research showed that cardiac stem cell therapy reduces scarring and regenerates healthy tissue after a heart attack in humans, have now identified components of those stem cells responsible for the beneficial effects.

      In a series of laboratory and lab animal studies, Heart Institute researchers found that exosomes, tiny membrane-enclosed “bubbles” involved in cell-to-cell communication, convey messages that reduce cell death, promote growth of new heart muscle cells and encourage the development of healthy blood vessels.

      “Exosomes were first described in the mid-1980s, but we only now are beginning to appreciate their potential as therapeutic agents. We have found that exosomes and the cargo they contain are crucial mediators of stem cell-based heart regeneration, and we believe this might lead to an even more refined therapy using the ‘active ingredient’ instead of the entire stem cell,” said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and a pioneer in developing investigational cardiac stem cell treatments.

      “The concept of exosome therapy is interesting because it could potentially shift our strategy from living-cell transplantation to the use of a non-living agent,” he added. “Stem cells must be carefully preserved to keep them alive and functioning until the time of transplant, and there are some risks involved in cell transplantation. In contrast, exosome therapy may be safer and simpler and based on a product with a longer shelf life.”

      In lab experiments, the researchers isolated exosomes from specialized human cardiac stem cells and found that exosomes alone had the same beneficial effects as stem cells. Exosomes also produced the same post-heart attack benefits in mice, decreasing scar size, increasing healthy heart tissue and reducing levels of chemicals that lead to inflammation. Even when exosomes were injected in mice after heart attack scars were well-established, and traditionally viewed as “irreversible,” they brought about multiple structural and functional benefits.

      Exosomes transport small pieces of genetic material, called microRNAs, that enable cells to communicate with neighboring cells to change their behavior. The researchers pinpointed one such microRNA – one that is especially plentiful in cardiac stem cell exosomes – as responsible for some of the benefits. It is likely, they believe, that this and other microRNAs in the exosomes work together to produce the regenerative effects.

      “The exosomes appear to contain the signaling information needed to regenerate healthy heart tissue, they are naturally able to permeate cells, and they have a coating that protects their payloads from degradation as they shuttle from cell to cell,” said Marbán, senior author of an article in the May 6, 2014 Stem Cell Reports. “Injecting exosomes derived from specialized cardiac stem cells may be an attractive alternative to the transplantation of living cells.”

      Marbán and his clinical and research teams in 2009 performed the first procedure in which a heart attack patient’s heart tissue was used to grow specialized stem cells that were injected back into the heart. In 2012, they reported results of a clinical trial that found significant reduction in the size of heart attack-caused scars in patients who underwent the experimental stem cell procedure, compared to others who did not.

      They also published findings from an animal study showing that the effect of stem cell therapy following heart attack is indirect – the stem cells themselves do not survive long after being placed in the heart, but they cause enduring effects by stimulating the rapid growth of surviving heart tissue and attracting stem cells already in the heart, which mature into functional heart cells.

      The new study sheds light on the underlying mechanisms, crediting stem cell exosomes and the communications cargo they carry for orchestrating regeneration to repair heart attack damage.

      The process to grow cardiac-derived stem cells was developed earlier by Marbán when he was on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. The university has filed for a patent on that intellectual property and has licensed it to Capricor Inc., a biotechnology company in which Marbán is a founder and equity holder. Cedars-Sinai has filed for a patent for the exosome discovery and has licensed it to Capricor. The company provided no funding for this study.

      Read more:medindia.net/news/researchers-identify-how-heart-stem-cells-help-regenerate-healthy-tissue-after-heart-attack-135775-1.htm

    3. Study urges caution in stem cell clinical trials for heart attack patients

      A new study in Nature challenges research data that form the scientific basis of clinical trials in which heart attack patients are injected with stem cells to try and regenerate damaged heart tissue.
      Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), report May 7 that cardiac stem cells used in ongoing clinical trials – which express a protein marker called c-kit – do not regenerate contractile heart muscle cells at high enough rates to justify their use for treatment.
      (…)

      Numerous heart attack patients have already been treated with c-kit-positive stem cells that are removed from healthy regions of a damaged heart then processed in a laboratory, Molkentin explained. After processing, the cells are then injected into these patients’ hearts. The experimental treatment is based largely on preclinical studies in rats and mice suggesting that c-kit-positive stem cells completely regenerate myocardial cells and heart muscle. Thousands of patients have also previously undergone a similar procedure for their hearts but with bone marrow stem cells.

      Molkentin and his colleagues report those previous preclinical studies in rodents do not reflect what really occurs within the heart after injury, where internal regenerative capacity is almost non-existent. Molkentin also said that combined data from multiple clinical trials testing this type of treatment show most patients experienced a roughly 3-5 percent improvement in heart ejection fraction – a measurement of how forcefully the heart pumps blood. Data in the current Nature study suggest this small benefit may come from the ability of c-kit-positive stem cells in heart to cause the growth of capillaries, which improves circulation within the organ, but not by generating new cardiomyocytes.

      “What we show in our study is that c-kit-positive stem cells from the heart like to make endothelial cells that form capillaries. But in their natural environment in the heart, these c-kit positive cells do not like to make cardiomyocytes,” Molkentin said. “They will produce cardiomyocytes, but at rates so low – roughly one in every 3,000 cells – it becomes meaningless.”
      (…)

      As a follow up to the current study, Molkentin and his colleagues are currently testing genes and protein growth factors that may be able to boost the rate of new cardiomyocyte generation from c-kit-positive stem cells. Because the current study shows that endogenous c-kit cells at least have some limited ability to regenerate contractile heart cells, Molkentin said it may be possible to find a method to enhance this ability genetically so the cells can eventually be used in a truly therapeutically beneficial manner to make new contractile activity in the heart.

      read more:medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-urges-caution-stem-cell-clinical.html

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