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Man's Own Fat Stem Cells Transplanted into Heart

Reuters, February 7, 2007

In an experimental treatment for angina and heart disease, doctors have implanted adult stem cells derived from a man's fat tissue through liposuction into his heart.

Although he is doing well, it could take up to six months to see whether the cells repaired the damaged vessels in the 67-year-old man according to the Gregorio Maranon Hospital in Madrid.

He is the first patient to receive the treatment.

"Cardiologists ... have implanted adult stem cells from fat in the heart of a patient for the first time in the world," the state hospital said in a statement.

Scientists trust that therapy for a variety of conditions is feasible in the future since stem cells are master cells that can change in any variety of cell or tissue.

In conjunction with doctors at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, the new treatment is being developed with cardiologists at the Spanish hospital. The study will involve 36 individuals and the first patient was treated on January 30. His name has not been made public.

Emerson, an American colleague of Spanish cardiologist Francisco extracted the stem cells together.

"In just five hours approximately the cells were extracted, purified, selected and implanted with the aim of regenerating new blood vessels which may allow them to flow blood properly to the heart of the patient", the hospital said.

In only two hours, 28 million cells were set for implanting. The reason for this was that unlike other varieties of stem cells, those extracted from fat do not need to be cultured for three weeks.

The cells were implanted with the use of a catheter by plastic surgeons, the same doctors who were also responsible for originally extracting the fat tissue from the patientís abdomen.


 

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