Σάββατο, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Donated stem cells may work best for heart patients

(Reuters) - Stem cells culled from the bone marrow  of healthy donors work as well or even better as cells harvested from patients themselves as a treatment for damaged hearts  and are more convenient to use, according to new research.
The 13-month trial was the first to compare the safety and effectiveness of so-called mesenchymal, or bone marrow-derived, stem cells taken from patients themselves versus those provided by donors.
Such adult stem cells that renew themselves and mature into specific cell types have been used for 40 years in bone marrow transplants
Scientists are now exploring their use as treatments for ailments such as heart disease and inflammatory conditions, some of the biggest markets in medicine.
The rationale behind using patients' own stem cells to treat disease is that they do not trigger an attack by the body's immune system. Mesenchymal stem cells, however, are also not recognized as foreign tissue.
Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that previously prepared cells from a healthy donor were comparatively safe and may offer the most convenience since it takes up to eight weeks to grow the amount of stem cells needed for the treatment.
The study involved 30 patients whose hearts were damaged by an earlier heart attack. Half received heart-muscle injections of their own cells, while the other half received donor cells.
Scar tissue was reduced by 33 percent in both groups, a result researchers called "very, very significant."
Improvements in heart function were seen in 28 percent of those receiving donor cells, and in 50 percent of patients receiving their own cells.
After a year, five patients in the donor cell group and eight who received their own cells suffered serious adverse events.
"The trials so far have very small patient numbers," said Stefanie Dimmeler, director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration Center of Molecular Medicine at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. "I think this early work in cardiac stem cells look very promising."
The trial results were presented here at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Companies working to develop off-the-shelf stem cell treatments include Celgene Corp, Pluristem Therapeutics Inc, Athersys Inc and Mesoblast Ltd.

Source : http://news.yahoo.com/donated-stem-cells-may-best-heart-patients-003823396--sector.html

1 σχόλια:

Iro Koliakou είπε...

I can't really understand how this research shows that donated stem cells work best for heart patients.

First they state that 50% of patients receiving their own cells showed improvements in heart function whereas only 28% of those receiving donor cells showed improvement.

Secondly "5 patients in the donor cell group and 8 who received their own cells suffered serious adverse events"... anyone with a little knowledge of statistics can understand that with so small numbers you can't produce a reliable conclusion.

Third " may offer the most convenience since it takes up to eight weeks to grow the amount of stem cells needed for the treatment" To my knowledge, and according to other successful clinical trials, when one has his own stem cells -properly- stored it is a matter of a few hours rather than weeks to have them ready for application. And even in the case that one chooses to culture the cells, both autologous( the patients) and allogenic (donor) cells will need about the same time in culture. So one definitely can’t use this as an argument that donor cells are more convenient.

Maybe the answer to my question is in the final line about off –the- shelf treatments. Off –the- shelf treatments means mass production and thus more money, so maybe it is a matter of donated stem cells may produce more profitable heart treatments rather than work best….

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