First generation autologous stem cell therapies are spreading more widely into trials and practice. VesCell is a good example of the type, and here are a couple of articles discussing the same class of procedure performed by an Indian group as an adjunct to more traditional heart surgery.
Announcing this, Dr. Thakore and Dr. Hemanshu Patel said that traditional technique using stem cells from bone marrow is quite prevalent, but they were the first to use stem cells from peripheral blood for the therapy. They have used it on five patients and the results are very impressive.
Giving details of the technique, they said that blood is collected from the patient in a normal way and it is used to grow the required stem cells. Later, these stem cells are injected in to the affected part of the heart of the patient. This saves patient from painful and time consuming bone marrow technique.
A few days after their angioplasties, Dr Shalin Thakore together with embryologist Dr Himanshu Patel, of the Krishna Heart and Super Specialty Institute, injected them with a drug “to allow mobility of stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream.”
About three to four days later, stem cells were cultured into cardiac stem cells and reinjected into the newly reopened arteries via another angiography.
Lots of enthusiasm visible, as for VesCell and the work of other research groups. It'll likely be another few years before scientists will have enough data to say whether these therapies actually are effective (or cost-effective) for most people, however.
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