Scientists use menstrual blood to treat damaged hearts!

DoroWalz By DoroWalz, 22nd Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1juni-yq/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Health

In a new Phase II clinical trial, researchers from Medistem are using stem cells derived from menstrual blood to treat patients with damaged hearts.

Meet the Endometrial Regenerative Cells

Medistem announced a few hours ago an update about its ongoing stem cell Phase II clinical trial on people with congestive heart failure. What is really intriguing about this trial, is that the patients are treated with stem cells derived from menstrual blood! Purpose of the study, is to examine the safe and efficacy of these particular menstrual blood stem cells or as Medistem calls them "Endometrial Regenerative Cells" (ERC).

What makes these stem cells so special ?

At present, there are many stem cell trials running for heart failure. However, according to Medistem, theirs is unique for two reasons. First, Medistem claims that ERCs have way more advances than your average stem cell. Let's examine them:
- Unlike bone marrow stem cells, all that is needed to extract ERCs is a menstrual blood sample taken from a healthy young donor. The "procedure" is simple, quick, fast, cheap and painless.
- In comparison to bone marrow stem cells, ERCs can be easily expanded into very large numbers. Medistem claims that one donation is more than enough to provide a stem cell treatment for about 20.000 patients.
- There is no risk of immunorejection.
- Preclinical studies suggest that ERCs can transform into virtually all types of somatic (specialized) cells, including the ones of heart, lung, liver, brain, bone, cartilage,adipose (fat) and pancreatic tissue.

A novel delivery system

The second advantage of Medistem's procedure lies within the stem cell delivery system itself. Medistem says that their stem cells are delivered via a unique and minimally invasive technique which according to them is safer and more effective than anything else tried before.

The clinical trial

The trial is double-blinded and placebo controlled. All patients suffer from congestive heart failure and are divided into 3 groups. Depending on which group the patient belongs to, he may receive 50, 100, and 200 million cells accordingly. The trial aims to enroll a total of 60 patients, however since it started the past year only 17 patients have currently received treatment. The patients receiving the stem cell therapy will be evaluated for improvements and adverse effect at 3 month, 6 month and 1 year post-op.

For now, no patient has experienced any adverse effects worth mentioning, and results on the treatment's efficiency are expected to be announced very soon!

Medistem seems to be quite optimistic regarding their therapy, saying that if the trial is successful it will position the company "to spearhead the development of a true cardiovascular regenerative therapy" !

Let's hope for the best, as there are millions of people suffering from heart failure...

References

- Endometrial regenerative cells for treatment of heart failure: a new stem cell enters the clinic
- Scientists use menstrual blood stem cells to treat heart failure

Tags

Heart Failure, Menstrual Blood, Stem Cells

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author avatar DoroWalz
I will be writting for medical-related thingies ! :)

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author avatar Vartika
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

Informative.
Thanks

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