Heart Attack Patients To Repair Heart Through Own Stem Cell

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Stem Cell To Repair Heart Attack Patient's Heart

A pioneering research project aimed at reducing the number of fatalities and suffering of heart attack patients was announced by the UK Stem Cell Foundation today.

For the first time heart attack patients are to have their own stem cells injected into their hearts within a critical five hours of the attack to see if stem cells can improve quality of life and delay or prevent the onset of heart failure, a frequently seen complication of heart attacks.

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The first clinical research project to be supported by the UK Stem Cell Foundation has been designed by Dr Anthony Mathur, Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiologist, and Professor John Martin, British Heart Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Sciences; at Barts and the London NHS Trust and University College London respectively.

David Macauley, Chief Executive, UK Stem Cell Foundation said: "This is the first known project of its type in the UK to combine stem cell delivery to the heart with primary angioplasty - where the blocked arteries in heart attack patients are opened as quickly as possible. It addresses one of the biggest killers in the UK, 108,000 people die every year from heart attack. It is also a strategically important area for the National Health Service."

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director, British Heart Foundation added "In the future, stem cells could herald a new frontier for heart patients. We welcome research that helps us understand the potential role stem cells may yet play in treating heart disease and hope that this study will compliment the BHF's existing research in this area."

Over the last decade, a shift has occurred from people dying during the acute phase of a heart attack to those eventually dying from long term effects, including heart failure.

At last estimates, 660,000 people were diagnosed with heart attacks in the UK. These figures are accompanied by a financial cost to the economy in the region of

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