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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Stem cell therapy trial available for heart attack patients; timing is of the essence

The Gill Heart Institute and the Univeristy of Kentucky Division of Cardiology are currently offering a ground-breaking clinical trial opportunity to patients interested in furthering knowledge of the impact of autologous stem cell therapy on heart attack recovery.

In a clinical trial led at UK by Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Latif, assistant professor of medicine at UK, and sponsored by stem cell therapy Amorcyte, eligible patients consent to undergo a procedure utilizing their own bone marrow stem cells which are harvested within nine to 11 days after a heart attack.

The stem cells are purified, and then re-injected via a simple catheter-based procedure. Patients receive their own adult stem cells, so there is no risk of autoimmunity concerns. The research hypothesis states that injecting patients with their own stem cells may increase the ability of the heart to heal after a major heart attack.

“This study is one of the very well-designed studies to confirm the potentially beneficial effects of autologous (patients receiving their own stem cells) bone marrow stem cells in cardiac recovery after large heart attack. The study has multiple built-in precautions to maximize the potential benefit and minimize the risk from this new line of therapy. Bone marrow stem cells are a promising and novel therapy for regenerative medicine with proven safety and results suggestive of beneficial effects over the last decade, we are excited to be able to offer this therapy to our patients and be part of this study here in Kentucky,” said Abdel-Latif.

Participants are currently being treated under the new protocol. Because patients are randomized, neither the participant nor the investigator knows at the time of the procedure whether the patient receives stem cell therapy or a placebo treatment. Patients who do not receive the therapy still receive care and follow-up by cardiologists and investigators.

Those interested in participating in the study may be referred by their physicians, or may self-refer. Time is of the essence as bone marrow stem cells must be harvested within nine to 11 days of a large heart attack.

For more information on the study, contact Tiffany Sandlin at tiffanysandlin@uky.edu.