Northwestern University researcher Douglas Losordo has reached after searching for more than 10 years, for a new way to help the patients which suffer from chronic chest pains. Losordo has been trying to reach a cure for those patients using a particular stem cell called CD34+ from the same patient.
Losordo has been targeting the patients that the medications were not so helpful for them. The new research is aiming to heal the tiny blood vessels that cannot even be helped by the stents and angioplasty.
The first patients who tried that new treatment have reported that they feel better and they exercise better too after injecting their own stem cells taken from their bone marrow into their heart.
The American Heart Association estimates that 850,000 Americans have lingering bouts of chest pain, a condition called refractory angina, which is not relieved by medication, angioplasty, or stenting. At the beginning of Losordo’s study, the 167 participants had 20 or more episodes of pain a week so severe that they had to stop what they were doing. Six months into the research, patients who received a low dose of the stem cells reported roughly seven attacks a week on average, while those who received a placebo treatment had 11.
The low-dose patients also were able to tolerate exercise for more than two minutes longer at the end of the study compared to the beginning, while those in the placebo arm could last just over a minute longer.
By harvesting a patient’s CD34+ cells from bone marrow, amplifying them, and injecting them directly into the damaged portion of the heart, Losordo says, he is circumventing natural steps that these people’s bodies might not be equipped to perform anymore. In animal studies, he found that the cells were naturally recruited to the heart after an injury to help repair damaged tissue. His research suggests that they secrete growth factors and immune molecules.