March 30, 2009

Patient’s own stem cells may help angina

A U.S. study has shown the first evidence that stem cells taken from a patient suffering severe angina and placed into that patient's heart may lessen pain.

The data came from a six-month, Phase II study led by Dr. Douglas Losordo at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Program in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The results from this study provide the first evidence that a patient's own stem cells could actually be used as a treatment for their heart disease, said Losordo, a professor at the school. The study provides potential hope for those patients with currently untreatable angina to be more active with less pain.

Losordo cautioned the findings of the 26-site trial, while encouraging, are not yet definitive and require verification in a larger study. Northwestern Memorial Hospital was the lead site of the study that involved 167 adult patients.

The findings were presented Saturday in Orlando, Fla., during the American College of Cardiology's 58th annual scientific session.