Cardiovascular Disease Successfully Treated With Patients' Own Adult Stem Cells
Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2008
At the International Regenerative Biomedical Technology Conference in Dubai, a U.S. physician presents the clinical results of adult stem cell therapy that was successfully used in the treatment of a number of patients with cardiovascular disease.
Zannos Grekos, M.D., chief medical officer of the Florida-based stem cell center Regenocyte Therapeutic, presented data before the Dubai Congress on Regenerative Biomedical Technologies which demonstrated the successful treatment of several end-stage cardiac diseases in a number of patients via autologous (in which the donor and recipient are the same person) adult stem cell therapy. The evidence that he presented included PET scans, nuclear scans and echocardiographs performed at 6 months and one year post-treatment, all of which confirm the regeneration of damaged heart tissue including newly stimulated angiogenesis and improved heart function in patients who were treated with their own adult stem cells that were extracted from their own blood.
As Dr. Grekos stated, "This is real science, real medicine and real results. We have moved beyond bench research and clinical trials to show that the power of the body's adult stem cells can be harnessed. Our success rate in reversing ischemic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure is extremely high and with our latest technology we're capturing the same astounding cell regeneration results in other disease classifications."
Additionally, Dr. Grekos announced that his team of physicians and scientists also used autologous adult stem cells in the successful treatment of a patient with Fabry disease, which is caused by an enzyme deficiency that leads to heart and kidney failure and which previously has had no cure. Whereas an ejection fraction (EF) of 55 is considered normal for healthy patients, this particular patient with Fabry disease experienced an EF improvement from 28 to 41 in just four months after receiving the autologous adult stem cell therapy. According to Dr. Grekos, "The patient no longer needs a heart transplant, which was previously the only means for arresting this disease. His kidney dialysis time has already been reduced by 10%, so we are looking at treating his kidney function in the near future."
Dr. Athina Kyritsis, chair of Regenocyte's medical advisory committee, states, "As a physician I find one of the most exciting things this discovery offers is the potential to address many diseases currently believed to be untreatable. We are leaping off of medicine's cutting edge. This is no longer just theory."
The procedure involves the simple drawing of blood from which the adult stem cells are isolated and then expanded in the laboratory and administered to the patient a week later either through an injection or infusion delivery system. Because the stem cells are autologous (meaning that the donor and the recipient are the same person), there is no risk of immune rejection.
In addition to being the chief medical officer for Regenocyte Therapeutic, Dr. Zannos Grekos is associate clinical professor of cardiology for Nova Southeastern University and has been appointed to the Science Advisory Board of the Washington, D.C. based Repair Stem Cell Institute. In 2007, Dr. Zannos was invited to brief the United States Senate Health Advisory Staff on the current state of stem cell research and therapy. Regenocyte Therapeutic is currently using adult stem cell therapy to treat congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, kidney disease, ischemic heart disease, pulmonary disease and early senile dementia. Clinical trials will begin in 2009 for patients with macular degeneration and various neurological diagnoses.