New potential treatment for refractory angina patients

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A new study has yielded promising results for treating patients with refractory angina (RA) using a stem cell therapy.

The onset of RA is brought about by a lack of blood supply caused by severe blockages. Affecting a large number of people, the symptoms of RA or chronic symptomatic coronary artery disease include ongoing chest pains, shortness of breath and fatigue.

Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) mobilized CD34+ stem cells (CD34+) were used to treat RA patients in the RENEW study. G-CSF is used to elicit white blood cell and stem cell production from the bone marrow to be released into the bloodstream.

“Clinicians are seeing more RA patients because people are living longer. Unfortunately, despite better medical care, these people are still confronting ongoing symptoms that affect their daily lives.” explained Timothy D. Henry, MD, MSCAI, director, division of cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the study’s co-principal investigator.

The patients used in the study had either class III or IV angina, having at least seven chest pain episodes per week, had a treadmill exercise time between 3-10 minutes and were not revascularization candidates. Treadmill exercise times and angina frequency was assessed at 3, 6 and 12 months, with major adverse cardiac events (MACE) checked for up to two years.

Following cell treatment, exercise times for the patients increased by more than two minutes at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. The also group demonstrated a 40% reduction of angina at six months.

“Cell therapy appears to be a promising approach for these patients who have few options,” said Dr. Henry.

Source: Stem cell therapy shows potential for difficult-to-treat RA patient population; Press Release