Stem Cells Proving to be Worthy in PAD Treatment
South Bend Tribune, December 13, 2006
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a painful circulatory problem in the legs affecting almost 10 million Americans. A doctor from Indiana University School of Medicine is using adult stem cells to treat this disease, with the hope of helping millions.
According to IU sources, as part of an early-phase clinical trial, Dr. Martin has injected 15 PAD patients with stem cells extracted from their own bone marrow.
”Progenitors” are specialized cells that encourage the development of new blood vessels and the stem cell treatments are based on the hypothesis that some individuals develop PAD because their bodies don’t produce an adequate amount of these special cells.
The consequence of lacking sufficient progenitors is that an individual’s body does a poor job of repairing damaged cells in the blood vessels, which eventually leads to diseased arteries.
Patients end up having to under go an amputation, since the customary treatment of surgical vein grafts is unlikely to help them.
None of the 15 patients in the trial have required any form of amputation and the stem cell treatment appears to be completely safe according to Dr. Murphy who is an assistant professor of surgery at IU.
A much larger group of patients are slotted for the nest portion of the trial to expand and examine clinical applications for the future.