DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘medical’

STEM CELLS 101 – short

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on April 11, 2013 at 12:50 am

Transplanted adult dermal stem cells / Cellule...

STEM CELLS 101 – short

ADULT STEM CELL = ASC

  • SOURCE/DERIVED FROM•comes from
    blood, umbilical cords, bone marrow, placenta fat tissue, muscle, nasal
    neurological, breast milk, menstruation, dental pulp, lungs (new source!) and many more
  • PURPOSE IN BODY•they are the body’s natural healing cells
  • OBSTACLES+SIDE EFFECTS•~zero problems (virtually zero side effects)
  • TREATMENT HISTORY•used in bone marrow transplants to treat cancer for 40 years
  • TREATMENT HISTORY•can currently treat 130+ diseases safely and effectively (CP, MS, Autism, Diabetes, CHF, PAD, etc)

EMBRYONIC STEM CELL = ESC

  • SOURCE/DERIVED FROM•comes from embryos
  • PURPOSE IN BODY•split for 7 weeks until you have a fetus the size of a thumbnail
  • OBSTACLES+SIDE EFFECTS•they create
    cysts and tumors, rejection requires immunosuppressive drugs for the ill
    patient, they carry the genetic anomalies of the donor, etc
  • TREATMENT HISTORY•can currently treat zero diseases, probably need to cure cancer first to use them

INDUCED PLURIPOTENT STEM CELL = iPSC (“Embryonic Stem Cell Lite”)

  • SOURCE/DERIVED FROM•comes from regular adult cells like skin cells that are then transformed by scientists into stem cells
  • PURPOSE IN BODY•to be a skin cell or other tissue
  • OBSTACLES+SIDE EFFECTS•they create
    cysts and tumors, rejection requires immunosuppressive drugs for the ill
    patient, they carry the genetic anomalies of the donor…
  • TREATMENT HISTORY•no treatments to date, probably need to cure cancer first to use them

ONE IN THREE OPEN TO TRAVELING FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT

In HEALTH AND WELLNESS on November 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

airplane

With the globalization of the Medical profession, and the advancements made abroad, medical tourism is becoming more common and accepted. “Various studies using different criteria have estimated that anywhere between 60,000 to 750,000 U.S. residents travel abroad for health care each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

NEW YORK | Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:22am EST

NEW YORK(Reuters) – Looking for an affordable face lift without breaking the bank? Want to combine a tummy tuck with two weeks in the sun? You’re not alone. Nearly a third of people surveyed around the world say they are open to the idea of medical tourism – traveling abroad to enjoy cheaper medical or dental treatment, according to a new Ipsos poll of 18,731 adults in 24 countries. Indeed, 18 percent said they would definitely consider it. “The concept of medical tourism is well accepted in many countries,” said Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs.

“With the exception of Japan there are at least one-third of consumers in every country we covered that are open to the idea,” he said in an interview.

Whether for economic reasons or perceptions of superior treatment elsewhere, for treatments ranging from cosmetic to life-saving surgeries, Indians, Indonesians, Russians, Mexicans and Poles were the most open to the idea of being medically mobile. Thirty-one percent or more people in each of those countries said they would definitely consider traveling for a medical or dental treatment.

Conversely, people in Japan, South Korea, Spain and Sweden were least likely to be medical tourists. Boyon said it was not surprising that men and women from emerging nations would be medically mobile if the treatments were cheaper. “This probably reflects perceptions of medical care in other countries that is superior to what is available at home,” he said. But he was intrigued by the percentage of people in developed nations such as Italy, where 66 percent said they would definitely or probably consider medical tourism, along with Germany (48 percent), Canada (41 percent) and the United States, where 38 percent of people were open to the idea.

“It is a reflection that the medical profession is no longer protected from globalization,” Boyon said.

RISKS VS. BENEFITS

Although medical tourism spans a range of treatments, the most common are dental care, cosmetic surgery, elective surgery and fertility treatment, according to a OECD report.

“The medical tourist industry is dynamic and volatile and a range of factors including the economic climate, domestic policy changes, political instability, travel restrictions, advertising practices, geo-political shifts, and innovative and pioneering forms of treatment may all contribute towards shifts in patterns of consumption and production of domestic and overseas health services,” the report said.

Various studies using different criteria have estimated that anywhere between 60,000 to 750,000 U.S. residents travel abroad for health care each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along with variations among countries, the Ipsos survey showed that younger adults under 35 years of age were more likely in most countries to consider medical tourism, than people 50 to 64 years old. In India, 86 percent of young adults said they would consider medical tourism, along with 77 percent in China, and 71 percent in Italy.

Boyon suggested that the cost of travel, proximity, borders and quality of care may also be factors considered by potential medical tourists. In both Italy and Germany, about 20 percent of adults said they would definitely consider medical tourism. Both countries are near Hungary, a popular destination for health treatments. Ipsos conducted the poll in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

“Ipsos” is a global independent market research company ranking third worldwide among research firms.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/13/us-medicaltourism-idUSBRE8AC0Q220121113?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews

CARTILAGE FROM PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on November 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

DURHAM, N.C. – A team of Duke Medicine researchers has engineered cartilage from induced pluripotent stem cells that were successfully grown and sorted for use in tissue repair and studies into cartilage injury and osteoarthritis.

The finding is reported online Oct. 29, 2012, in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and suggests that induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs, may be a viable source of patient-specific articular cartilage tissue.

“This technique of creating induced pluripotent stem cells – an achievement honored with this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine for Shimya Yamanaka of Kyoto University – is a way to take adult stem cells and convert them so they have the properties of embryonic stem cells,” said Farshid Guilak, PhD, Laszlo Ormandy Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke and senior author of the study.

“Adult stems cells are limited in what they can do, and embryonic stem cells have ethical issues,” Guilak said. “What this research shows in a mouse model is the ability to create an unlimited supply of stem cells that can turn into any type of tissue – in this case cartilage, which has no ability to regenerate by itself.”

Articular cartilage is the shock absorber tissue in joints that makes it possible to walk, climb stairs, jump and perform daily activities without pain. But ordinary wear-and-tear or an injury can diminish its effectiveness and progress to osteoarthritis. Because articular cartilage has a poor capacity for repair, damage and osteoarthritis are leading causes of impairment in older people and often requires joint replacement.

In their study, the Duke researchers, led by Brian O. Diekman, PhD, a post-doctoral associate in orthopaedic surgery, aimed to apply recent technologies that have made iPSCs a promising alternative to other tissue engineering techniques, which use adult stem cells derived from the bone marrow or fat tissue.

One challenge the researchers sought to overcome was developing a uniformly differentiated population of chondrocytes, cells that produce collagen and maintain cartilage, while culling other types of cells that the powerful iPSCs could form.

To achieve that, the researchers induced chondrocyte differentiation in iPSCs derived from adult mouse fibroblasts by treating cultures with a growth medium. They also tailored the cells to express green fluorescent protein only when the cells successfully became chondrocytes. As the iPSCs differentiated, the chondrocyte cells that glowed with the green fluorescent protein were easily identified and sorted from the undesired cells.

The tailored cells also produced greater amounts of cartilage components, including collagen, and showed the characteristic stiffness of native cartilage, suggesting they would work well repairing cartilage defects in the body.

“This was a multi-step approach, with the initial differentiation, then sorting, and then proceeding to make the tissue,” Diekman said. “What this shows is that iPSCs can be used to make high quality cartilage, either for replacement tissue or as a way to study disease and potential treatments.”

Diekman and Guilak said the next phase of the research will be to use human iPSCs to test the cartilage-growing technique.

“The advantage of this technique is that we can grow a continuous supply of cartilage in a dish,” Guilak said. “In addition to cell-based therapies, iPSC technology can also provide patient-specific cell and tissue models that could be used to screen for drugs to treat osteoarthritis, which right now does not have a cure or an effective therapy to inhibit cartilage loss.”

In addition to Guilak and Diekman, study authors include Nicolas Christoforou; Vincent P. Willard; Alex Sun; Johannah Sanchez-Adams; and Kam W. Leong.

The National Institutes of Health (AR50245, AR48852, AG15768, AR48182, Training Grant T32AI007217) and the Arthritis Foundation funded the study.

By Duke Medicine News and Communications – http://www.DukeHealth.org

OPRAH, MICHAEL J FOX, DR OZ – STEM CELL DEBATE IS DEAD!

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on October 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

The debate ended 2.5 years ago but the battle still wages on! SO much has changed in 2.5 years  yet so much remains the same. 

The world has embraced the knowledge that adult stem cells can treat almost anything with safety and success but nobody in the USA knows about it because they are not available here and considered “unapproved by the FDA.”

Maybe we can enlist the “Occupy Wall Street” peeps to make some huge needed changes in our health care and available treatments.  – David

Originally from: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-mehmet-oz-the-stem-cell-debate-is-over/

The Stem Cell Debate Is Over! ...sort of...

The Wisdom of Oz

Visualize the surreal image of Oprah Winfrey, Michael J Fox and Dr. Mehmet Oz, wearing purple surgical gloves, sitting on stage around a human brain. Dr. Oz explains the absence of Nigro-Striatal Neurons in the brain of Parkinson’s patients while lifting out partially dissected chunks of brain and placing them into Michael’s shaking hand.

The camera zooms in as Dr. Oz steadies Michael’s hand in his. Dr. Oz weaves an intimidating, steel needle between Michael’s gloved and trembling fingers and illustrates the procedure for injecting stem cells into the brain by plunging it both into and through the quivering cerebellum. Michael’s legs spasm and contort and my stomach clenches empathetically with what I sense is Michael’s extreme discomfort, but is really a symptom of his condition.

And yet, NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened next as Dr. Oz, unbelievably and without prelude or warning, makes the stunning statement:
“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

While astonished by his public announcement, I soon began to wonder: “why did Dr Oz only briefly allude to the potential of iPS cells and the proven benefits of adult stem cell treatments?” And then it became clear.

Dr Oz recognizes that the average person on an American street is led to believe, “a stem cell is an embryo is a stem cell”. Due to years of misleading media saturation, as far most Americans know, there are no other stem cells besides embryonic. Walk down the street and ask someone “what is an adult stem cell…what is an iPS cell”, and your inquiries will surely be met by blank stares.

So in retrospect, what Oz DID do, was truly…amazing.

Shunning the history of the love/hate affair Americans have with Embryonic stem cell research and ignoring the majority of US media over the past 5 years, the decrees of President Obama’s funding policies, the positions of the FDA and AMA and the fruitless decade long public pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by Michael J Fox (with the benevolent and optimistic spirit of Christopher Reeve hovering over him) and before the bewildered eyes of Michael, Oprah and ~7.2 million viewers, Dr Mehmet Oz nailed the coffin shut on ESC treatments:
“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

With this one simple statement on national TV, Dr Oz has taken the first step towards educating the American public about the current insurmountable limitations of embryonic stem cells and cracked open the door to the American collective mind-set regarding the potential of iPS cells and the reality that Repair stem cells (RSC) have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade. Despite the fact that thousands of American doctors refer to RSC as “snake oil,” more and more American patients are realizing that the US medical system is faltering, dated and just not working while the greatest medicine the world has ever seen is available just beyond the borders of their own country.

The seeds planted by Dr Oz will take a long time to find purchase in the collective American mind-set. There is too much embryonic momentum, media and drama, and America loves drama. Embryonic stem cells will not go away and like Romeo and Juliet, this love/hate affair may have to run its course for most, despite Dr Oz stealing the “distilled liquor” and Romeo’s poison and dagger in an attempt to avoid all of the deaths at the end of this play.

To read more about this grim fairy tale: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/a-grim-fairy-tale-americas-doomed-love-affair-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research-intro-the-romance-is-an-illusion/

One step at a time we will climb this mountain and slowly open American eyes to improve their knowledge of treatment options so all can intelligently exercise the freedom of choice in their individual medical care. One inch at a time, Oz wisely created a pathway to an amazing new world of available medical treatments for what were previously believed to be incurable diseases and are in fact treating patients successfully around the world.

Dr Oz took this first step and it was a HUGE first step!

So from where I am sitting, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincerest appreciation for Dr Oz’s bravery, statements and actions. Thank you, Dr. Oz and thank you Oprah; for allowing this sage doctor the forum to break the walls restricting millions of Americans from the knowledge of the medical treatment options they so unquestionably deserve.

Here is the actual transcript based on my ears and fingers and a lot of patient rewinding:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

“I can take a little bit of your skin, take those cells, get them to go back in time so they are like they were when you were first made, and then they will start to make that dopamine & I think those cells, because they won’t be as prone to cancer & because they’re your genes will be the ones that are ultimately used to cure Parkinsons.”

“I think we are single digit years away from making a big impact in the lives of Parkinson’s disease but also diabetics, heart disease, people who have had a lot of problems.”

To see the original video: http://www.oprah.com/media/20090319-tows-dr-oz-brain

Marijuana, Fat Russians, Stents and E-Cigarettes

In ALL ARTICLES on April 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Arkansas medical marijuana advocates begin petition

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) – Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Arkansas are hoping that 2012 is their lucky year. | Full Article
Unhealthy Russians think they’re in good shape
April 26, 2011 09:28 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) – Most Russians overestimate how healthy they are and many run high health risks by smoking, abusing alcohol, being obese and failing to take enough exercise, according to a report published on Tuesday. | Full Article
Stents: How new technology drives health costs
April 25, 2011 06:19 PM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Heart devices known as drug-eluting stents have added as much as $1.57 billion to U.S. health costs since their introduction in 2003, U.S. researchers said on Monday. | Full Article
Government to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco
April 25, 2011 08:05 PM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The government said on Monday it plans to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. | Full Article

For Calif. High School Students, Cedars-Sinai Presents Stem Cell Essay Competition and Education Program

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

For Calif. High School Students, Cedars-Sinai Presents Stem Cell Essay Competition and Education Program

Released: 4/1/2011 8:00 AM EDT
Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Newswise — LOS ANGELES (March 31, 2011) – California high school students may compete for three $500 essay awards and attend a free educational program on stem cells sponsored by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery. The winning authors also will be invited to spend a summer volunteering in a Cedars-Sinai laboratory, learning with stem cell neuroscientists.

“Stem cell technologies and therapies are in their early stages but we believe they hold great promise, which we only now are beginning to realize. We’re making this program available to high school students because they will be the next generation of scientists and we hope to introduce them to the exciting possibility of curing many diseases by replenishing or replacing defective cells with healthy new ones,” said John S. Yu, M.D., who will lead the program. He is a neurosurgeon, stem cell research scientist, director of surgical neuro-oncology and vice chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery…

For Calif. High School Students, Cedars-Sinai Presents Stem Cell Essay Competition and Education Program.

U.S. Medicare rules seek improved care, lower costs

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm
This program will create a financial incentive for doctors to take more interest in a patient’s follow up care, thereby, providing better care.
There are some who say that the entire medical and pharma system is based on making money and not on getting you better.  I guess this proves it.
The promise of “better care for patients” apparently wasn’t enough in order to get this program off the ground…they had to both pay doctors more AND show a savings to the government.
While I applaud the program to increase follow up care, this seems to me like doctors are now going to get paid more to do what they should already be doing (and are doing in other countries).
The USA medical system is ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization.
U.S. Medicare rules seek improved care, lower costs | Reuters

A patient waits in the hallway for a room to open up in the emergency room at a hospital in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
A patient waits in the hallway for a room to open up in the emergency room at a hospital in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2009.

WASHINGTON | Fri Apr 1, 2011 8:41am EDT – By Donna Smith

(Reuters) – U.S. Medicare regulators on Thursday launched a program for doctors to deliver more follow-up care to patients that they predict will save the government as much as $960 million over the next three years while providing better healthcare for the elderly.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed rules under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul setting out guidelines for doctors and hospitals who form so-called accountable care organizations to deliver Medicare services.

The idea, called coordinated care, is to give primary care physicians a financial incentive to follow up on patients who are sent to the hospital or prescribed a course of treatment.

The traditional pay for service structure provides no such incentives, which take the form of a share of any cost savings.

“We’ve known for a long time that too many Americans fail to get the best care when they walk into a hospital or a doctor’s office,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a telephone press conference.

“One in every five Medicare beneficiaries who leaves the hospital is back within 30 days. In many cases it is because they failed to receive the correct follow up care,” she added…

U.S. Medicare rules seek improved care, lower costs | Reuters.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA (CANNABIS) CURES CANCER

In Medical Marijuana on March 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm
How Cannabinoids Kill Cancer Cells

This clip is from the recently-aired PBS documentary, ‘Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis,’ which explores the scientifically proven fact that cannabinoids kill cancer cells in test tubes and in laboratory animals.

Here are 1,500 more videos on “Cannabis Cures Cancer”: http://bit.ly/Cannnabis_cures_cancer

Cannabinoid receptors exist throughout organs of the human body, especially in the brain and in the immune system. These act like targets for cannabinoids. Once they bind to the receptors, peptides are released that tell the cancer cells to die, i.e., to commit suicide.

One doctor interviewed has been so encouraged by the laboratory results that he has begun cannabis trials with his own leukemia patients.

Medical Marijuana Cannabis Cures Cancers.

HEART DISEASE AND STEM CELL TREATMENTS NOW!

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm

THERE IS NOW NO EXCUSE FOR YOU TO NOT KNOW ABOUT THE HEALING POWER OF ADULT STEM CELLS!  NOW, EVEN READER’S DIGEST KNOWS THAT STEM CELLS CAN BECOME HEART CELLS AND FIX DAMAGED HEART TISSUE.

  • SURE THIS ARTICLE IGNORES MULTIPLE STUDIES GOING BACK TO EARLY 2000 https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/heart-disease-treatment/
  • SURE THIS ARTICLE IGNORES THE THOUSANDS OF CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY TREATED WITH STEM CELLS
  • BUT THEY GET IT, THEY KNOW IT’S REAL AND THEY ARE PUBLICIZING IT IN READER’S DIGEST!

 

For more information about stem cell treatments available now for heart disease, email me at dsgrano@gmail.com or click anywhere on the red text.

For more information and to educate yourself on the available Stem Cell treatments for heart disease and the scientific data proving their safety, efficacy, benefits and success.

  1. TREATMENT of HEART DISEASE with STEM CELLS: EDUCATIONAL OVERVIEW
  2. REPAIR STEM CELLS vs. HEART DISEASE – UNDENIABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
  3. HEART DISEASE CLINICAL STUDIES – A BRIEF HISTORY
  4. WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP?


Reader’s Digest “reaches more readers with household incomes of $100,000+ than Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Inc. combined. Global editions of Reader’s Digest reach an additional 40 million people in more than 70 countries, with 50 editions in 21 languages. It has a global circulation of 17 million, making it the largest paid circulation magazine in the world. It is also published in braille, digital, audio, and large print.”

Stem Cells To The Rescue!

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm

This procedure has been carried out for half a decade, safely and effectively, all over the world.  Is it any wonder the World Health Organization ranks the USA at 37countries below the top health care country in the world.  We need to catch up NOW! – dg

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For first time in the United States, one man’s heart has been saved by his own stem cells.

It’s an amazing medical breakthrough. The science behind the technique made it possible for a man to literally save his own life through his stem cells.

John Christy is the first person in the U.S. to have his own bone marrow stem cells injected into his heart to save his heart.

“All you’re doing is giving back to yourself something you already have,” said Christy

A Vietnam veteran was suffering from severe coronary artery disease.

“I was just thinking, ‘You’re getting old, you’re just tiring out and getting weary bones.’ I felt tingling. My legs had been swelling a little bit,” said Christy.

In one procedure, cardiothoracic surgeon Joseph Woo at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is taking science from bench to bedside. After five years of research in animals, he is now retrieving stem cells from Christy’s bone marrow and using them to grow blood vessels around the heart.

“They form brand new micro blood vessels and deliver blood flow to the heart muscle,” said Woo.

He has started the first U.S. trial where stem cells are harvested during surgery, prepped and then re-inserted back into the patient’s own heart.

Results for Christy were seen almost immediately.

“I noticed two days after my surgery, I had much more ‘umph,'” said Christy.

It’s the same process that saved 76-year-old Christina McDonald, only it wasn’t arteries in her heart that were damaged. McDonald’s problem was in her legs.

“Sort of like a charley-horse where the muscles stiffen up,” said McDonald.

The arteries in her leg were clogged with plaque, putting her at risk for heart attack, stroke and amputation. Traditionally, doctors treat it with stents, angioplasties or bypasses. But now they’re using stem cells.

“We basically take stem cells from their hips to help grow blood vessels. It creates new, smaller blood vessels that give blood supply to the limb,” said Dr. Randall Franz, a vascular surgeon at Grant Medical Center.

It worked for McDonald. Three months later, her pain is gone.

The same goes for Christy. His only wish is that science was working faster. He lost his wife to heart disease one year ago.

“I wish that she could have had this,” said Christy.

A similar procedure is being done in Europe. The difference is Woo does his in one short surgery.

In Europe, it takes at least two procedures, weeks apart.

Woo says any patient who is a candidate for coronary bypass surgery is a good candidate for his stem-cell transplant.

Stem Cells To The Rescue! — Research Summary

CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE: Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart’s ability to efficiently pump is impaired by a destruction or dysfunction of its muscle cells. The condition is a major health problem, affecting 4.8 million people — a figure that is rapidly growing as 400,000 new patients arise each year. A common cause of this condition is a heart attack, which strikes over a million people in the U.S. annually. Although many surgical, medical and technological methods exist to help treat patients with congestive heart failure, over half of the patients die within five years of their primary diagnosis. (SOURCE: stemcells.nih.gov)

STEM CELL POTENTIAL: Restoring the functionality of hearts damaged by congestive heart failure and heart attacks is one of the most challenging tasks doctors and surgeons face. Now, research has provided hope that adult and embryonic stem cells have the potential to replace the heart’s damaged muscle cells, as well as create blood vessels to route a steady supply of blood to them. To do this, heart muscle cells, such as the cardiomyocyte, which serve to push blood out of the ventricle, must be developed in order to improve blood flow and the transportation of oxygen and nutrients.

If extremely specific growth conditions are achieved in labs, then it is possible to leverage stem cells to develop new heart muscle cells. To test this concept, researchers forced a heart attack in lab rats and mice by attaching a ligature around a key blood vessel of their hearts in order to restrict the flow of nutrients and oxygen. Next, they tested the efficacy of a specific group of adult primitive bone marrow cells by injecting them directly into the damaged ventricle. To the researchers’ satisfaction, new cardiomyocytes, among other crucial heart muscle cells, began to form, leading the way for the development of a brand new system of coronary arteries, arterioles and capillaries. When compared to the control mice that also suffered heart attacks, but did not receive a stem cell treatment, the treated mice were found to be much more likely to survive. Research has shown high hopes that similar effects will blossom from human embryonic stem cells. Since embryonic cells can be coaxed into developing into any type of adult body cell, researchers hope to leverage them to take on the properties of cardiomyocytes and other cells. Embryonic cells aren’t the only solution, however. Under the right conditions, human hematopoietic stem cells are also able to transform into desired tissue types such as cardiac muscle. (SOURCE: stemcells.nih.gov)

A STEM CELL FIRST: Y. Joseph Woo, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine performed a first-of-its-kind procedure in the United States. He took stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow (known as endothelial progenitor stem cells) and injected them into his heart during coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The patient felt relief almost immediately. A similar procedure is being done in Europe, but doctors there retrieve the cells while the patient is awake, which can be painful.


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