Join us in celebrating our autism patients all month long in honor of World Autism Month.

The Role of Adult Stem Cells in Angioplasty

The National Institute of Health has granted the Creighton School of Medicine $3.3 million dollars to study repairing damaged coronary arteries with adult stem cells. Such damage can occur when patients undergo coronary artery angioplasty and stenting.

A serious problem that occurs is the re-narrowing (restenosis) of coronary arteries after stent placement. Stents are used to help widen narrowed arteries. Restenosis can be reduced by using drug-eluding stents but they can also lead to deposits of blood platelets within the artery that destroy its lining. To counteract this effect, anti-platelet therapy is employed. However, upset stomach, diarhea and nausea are serious side effects that are caused by anti-platelet therapy.

Creighton researchers, Devendra Agrawal, Ph.D, Michael Del Core and William Hunter are the primary and co-investigators. Dr. Agrawal is a professor of biomedical sciences. Dr. Del Core is a cardiologist and Dr. Hunter is a pathologist.

Autologous mesenchymal stem cells will be delivered with a specialized gene into the coronary arteries of pigs. The goal of this study is to determine if adult stem cell + gene therapy is superior to drug eluting stents, which are today’s standard of care. Such a treatment could eliminate the need for stents altogether if successful.

Recent research has shown that angioplasty and stenting – commonly used to open narrowed coronary arteries – are not as effective as once thought.

The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study of 15,000 patients showing that angioplasty + stenting can cause more harm than good in certain patients. The study determined that 10% of patients had to be readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of stenting and that they were at a higher risk of death within 1 year than the other 90%.

Take the first step towards the healthier life you deserve.